Jujitsu Economics

How do you make use of something else’s strength?

Photo: Pixabay

When Wikipedia first came out, many educators panicked. They were threatened by the universally accessible source of detailed information, and told their students not to use it for primary research. But a few clever teachers found a way to make use of the service’s own inaccuracies. They started assigning their students Wikipedia entries – not to cite, but to fix.

A similar thing is happening in health care. We have more of our own health care information at our disposal than ever before instead of seeing that as a threat, innovative providers use it as an opportunity – asking patients to let them see their health apps, using feedback and images and better communications to help people improve their own health.

In the same way, investors now have more options than ever before. Index funds and portfolio management are becoming cheaper and cheaper. Robo-advisors use questionnaires to help smaller investors combine funds into personal portfolios. Rather than resist these changes, financial advisors need to embrace them, using clients’ improved self-understanding to craft more specific financial solutions. Fighting the growth of personalized services that are readily available on a smartphone app is like shoveling against the tide, or shouting into the wind.

Photo: Leeroy. Source: Life of Pix

Jiu-Jitsu comes from two words: “Ju,” meaning yielding, and “jutsu,” meaning technique. It’s the art of using an opponent’s own force against themselves. The founder of Japanese Judo, Kano Jigoro, said his discipline wasn’t a combat technique, really, but a philosophy of balance, harmony, and peace.

Business isn’t about conflict, it’s about finding solutions. But you need to be strong to see the power of being supple.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

By |2018-04-02T06:57:36+00:00April 2nd, 2018|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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