Over millions of years, your brain is hardwired to impair your decision-making. Our new guide is the closest you'll come to a magic formula in investing


By Sam Instone - November 08, 2022

Adam was nervous and excited when he moved to Dubai in 2013.

He was leaving his beloved Scotland and the firm where he’d built his career, not to mention uprooting his two sons, both at primary school.

His wife Jo, a dentist originally from New Zealand, would also be starting afresh. These are the opening lines of my new eBook, released this week.

It begins with a real client case study, and includes 9 key investing principles to help increase your odds of a success. 

It's not a long read. 

Nor is it a secret to quick riches. 

But in my 18+ years working in financial services, I've come across just about every type of international investor.

Many are busy professionals working hard for their ideal financial futures.

I’m no different.

I’m doing this through long-term investing.

After thousands of hours of self-education, I’m at a place where instead of fixating on getting ahead, I’m focused on having enough and enjoying life.

For Adam and his wife, their new life overseas promised to be thrilling, yet hectic.

They knew they needed to find a firm they could trust to keep their retirement on track.

This adventure, after all, was an opportunity to experience different cultures and accelerate their wealth.

But after four years, Adam felt something wasn’t right.

He and Jo were saving more than they ever had before, but their wealth wasn’t growing.

They came to us for a second opinion, only to discover their fees were scuppering any growth, and their supposed ‘free advice’ was just a sales pitch.

Our team recommended a low-cost investment portfolio based on economic science.

After completing a cash flow model, they also showed Adam and Jo how much they would need to save, in order to support their desired retirement lifestyle.

It reassured them to see their life in numbers.

Adam said at first, the news that they were paying high investment fees was a hard pill to swallow.

“But we are now on track. It even looks like we can have the lifestyle and the retirement I promised my wife in New Zealand!"

There’s no secret to quick riches; you won’t find one this new guide.

But by following some basic principles, you'll get close to a ‘magic formula’.

Principles like ignore stock market movements, resist chasing performance and manage your emotions.

And while these seem simple, getting them right is not easy.

Food for thought - craving sugary returns

Did you know, our brain is hardwired, over millions of years, to impair our decision-making?

Consider your diet.

We all crave sweet or fatty foods sometimes.

This need can be traced back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors’ quest for much-needed calories.

Today, however, such treats are far too accessible for our health.

Imagine two plates in front of you.

On one, a bar of chocolate (or your favourite treat) and on the other, a pile of spinach.

Which do you want to grab?

Chances are, you want the chocolate.

Even though your neocortex is telling you the spinach will keep you alive longer and is better for your body, skin, and immune system, the irrational part of your brain has primal cravings.

You have control, but you make a poor decision.

You bite the chocolate.

It's the same in investing.

Every day, intelligent, high-earning professionals choose the alluring option over the rational, boring, evidence-based option.

These chocolate investors love to talk about returns and believe they can control them (and the industry does little to
discourage them).

Meanwhile, the spinach munchers are only concerned with diversification and fees, probably the only two things that we can control.

I take long-term investing and behavioural finance seriously.

My hope is that this short guide will help end anxiety, increase clarity, and cut through the complexity and noise of the financial ‘industry’.

Download 'Pursuing a better investment experience' and learn, through helpful analogies and every day examples, more ways to increase your odd of investing success.

NEW HS/SF: Investment Experience eBook