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Pretty Shiny Things


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. When we make lists, check them twice, and our children write letters destined for the North Pole. Just when you think you have every must-have gift purchased and wrapped, here come more commercials screaming:

This item is on every holiday list! 

Don’t be the only tween without a yada-yada! 

Check out these must-have gifts this holiday season! 

Who wants to miss out, right? Those items vying for attention create a lot of extra noise and sense of urgency. Kudos to these brands’ marketing departments. They craft ads to induce anxiety that we’re missing out on the latest and greatest trend. A new dazzler will always catch the eye. No one wants to feel as though they’re last to get on board.  Who wants to feel FOMO? 

Unfortunately, the illusion of scarcity brought about by marketing is no stranger to investing either.  

Dopamine brews when we chase the next big thing that may give us that dreamy payday. The rush that follows can blind us to what we should stay focused on. The financial industry constantly creates pretty shiny things meant to grab our attention all the time.

  • Forms of payment barely anyone can explain, and fewer understand 
  • A never-ending supply of acronym investment products 
  • Even Beanie Babies created a bubble and hysteria in the late ’90s

It can be hard to see in the moment, but investing is about giving ourselves the best probability for success over time. Moreover, we must resist the temptation of constantly chasing the new kid on the block.

As parents, our role is to love and nurture our children. Yet it’s also our responsibility to teach them that impulse comes with a price. We don’t always get what we want, even amidst the joyous holiday season. Investors would be well suited to remind themselves of these lessons from time to time.