Why Doesn't Matter
Peter Katevatis - Aug 14, 2015
In today’s information overload age, the question ‘why?’ is not just constantly asked, but the ability to answer it is also there. Traditionally, when you had a trivial argument the banter would go back and forth, theories would be spouted, and peop
In today’s information overload age, the question ‘why?’ is not just constantly asked, but the ability to answer it is also there. Traditionally, when you had a trivial argument the banter would go back and forth, theories would be spouted, and people would be very engaged in the topic. The argument could continue for hours, days, even weeks. At a recent family dinner, we were debating on the reason why the pyramids were built. A few theories were thrown out there, but instead of debating these farfetched theories, it became a “smartphone race” to Google the answer.
The continual access to information has created an insatiable desire to answer all questions. As a proud parent of an inquisitive 2 year old I often have to answer the question, “But why?”
Without getting Socratic and answering the question with a question, I often simply state, “Why doesn’t matter.”
In the investment world we are inundated with ‘why?’ all day. Why did the markets go up today? Why were earnings down? Why is gold up? Why is the Loonie down? If we simply accepted these prices as facts, instead of focusing on the ‘why factor’ we can then answer more important questions. Such as “What do we do now?”
If you focus too much energy on why something happens, you lose direction on what you should do moving forward. Here is a specific example:
A client was opening a new RRSP account to transfer their pension account to Canaccord since they left their former employer. We opened the RRSP account and began the transfer-in process. Our transfer department rejected the transfer since we opened a regular RRSP account and did not open a locked-in RRSP account.
Instead of focussing on ‘why’ this mattered, or ‘why’ the transfer department was making a fuss, we had new forms signed and opened the proper locked-in RRSP account. It created a 2-day delay in the transfer which didn’t matter at all in hindsight.
Instead of pointing fingers, blaming and trying to figure who was at fault, the team at Katevatis Wealth Management corrected the problem and moved forward.
Problems happen, fix them. Why they happen is often irrelevant.
Clearly you cannot ignore all the ‘why’ questions, but letting some of them pass unanswered will give you a sense of freedom. You can view the pyramids and marvel them for the amazing feat of construction that they are, the fact they are tombs is quite irrelevant.
Try it and let me know how it works for you.