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Have We Been “Programmed” or “Conditioned” by the Financial Services Industry?

January 08, 20245 min read

Here are some signs that you have been and how to break that “programming” / “conditioning” with Rita℠

From experience, we’ve observed that many individual investors believe that it’s simply too difficult or too complicated for them to pick the mutual funds or ETFs in which they should invest.

They believe that they have no real choice other than place their trust in and rely on the advice of an investment advisor and/or broker. Of course, that’s assuming they have enough investment dollars to get an investment advisor or broker to accept them as a client. They believe it’s simply impossible for them to do it themselves.

Although it’s hard to imagine that any individual investor “likes” feeling powerless, it’s also likely that, because of this belief, many will not be open to learning how easy it might be able to successfully do it themselves.

Why bother when I “know” I can’t do it?

Are they “right”?

Is this the “truth”?

Is this you?

This famous quote attributed to Henry Ford provides some important insight and a possible answer worthy of serious consideration:

Whatever you believe you can do and whatever you believe you can’t do, you’re right.”

How did so many individual investors come to believe that they are not individually capable of selecting good mutual funds and ETFs?

Although there appear to be several reasons, the most powerful is likely the fact that there are reported to be well over 20,000 mutual funds and ETFs, with hundreds of performance factors tracked for each.

Because of this, many, if not most, individual investors may have concluded that “There are simply too many choices and too much information about them and I don’t have the time, the tools, or the knowledge to be able to determine which might be best for me.”

In the financial services marketplace as most have known and experienced it, this is an entirely logical conclusion.

But as the commentator, Shoshana Zuboff, states: Technological change defines the horizon of our material world as it shapes the limiting conditions of what is possible and what is barely imaginable.

The financial services marketplace is not immune or exempt from technological change.

What if there has been a recent advance – one that was previously “barely imaginable” – that has made the above “conclusion” no longer factually defensible or logically sound?

What if there is now a technology tool that enables individual investors like you to rapidly score and rank hundreds of mutual funds and ETFs your way?

What if there is a tool that will filter out all conflicts of interest and enable you to answer this key question: “Of all the available choices, which ones are best for me?”

Would you try it?

Or is the “conditioning” so strong that you couldn’t believe that there is something new that actually changes things and gives individual investors power that they’ve never before had – a tool that enables them (you) to quickly and easily comparatively evaluate so many choices to identify and select the ones “best” for you.

Thankfully, there is such a tool.

It’s Rita℠, the Retail Investment Tracking Application℠

And, not only can you get access to the tool at the Rita℠ site, you can also get the knowledge and instruction needed to effectively use it to improve your investment selection and even your ability to better evaluate the value of the investment recommendations of your investment advisor and/or broker.

Not surprisingly, Rita℠ was not developed and brought to you by the financial services industry.

Why?

The financial services industry has been vendor-dominated since its inception.

What vendor of financial products would want any investors like you to have an easy way to comparatively evaluate their products against all similar choices?

They wouldn’t. They also seemingly don’t want your investment advisor or broker to have that capability.

The performance data that Rita℠ now enables investors like you to access and effectively use has been available within the financial services industry for decades.

Why it has not been made available to individual investors may be further explained by this quote, from Issac Asimov, about technological change in general:

I discovered, to my amazement, that all through history there had been resistance ... and bitter, exaggerated, last-stitch resistance ... to every significant technological change that had taken place on earth. Usually, the resistance came from those groups who stood to lose influence, status, money...as a result of the change. Although they never advanced this as their reason for resisting it. It was always the good of humanity that rested upon their hearts.

Who stands to lose influence, status, money, and possibly more, if individual investors have the power to comparatively evaluate all of the mutual fund and ETF choices for themselves and in the ways they believe are individually best for them?

Who stands to gain from a mistaken “conditioned” belief by investors that it is impossible for them to do it themselves?

Is the “conditioning” so strong that, even if a tool as powerful, easy to use, and inexpensive as Rita℠ is readily available – a tool that could improve your investment results and possibly dramatically and make you more money – you still wouldn’t try it?

The first step in breaking any “conditioning” is to realize that we may have been “conditioned” – that there may be things we believe or assume that are simply not true or, although once true, are true no longer. As John F. Kennedy famously stated:

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. . . . We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. (emphasis mine) [Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962]”

It's time for you the individual investors to break free of the industry-induced “prefabricated . . . (and disempowering) interpretations” and resulting conditioned beliefs and “opinions,” and to realize and use the power now available to you.

We’re working to make it as easy as possible for you to do. Try It Now.

401(k)mutual fundsETFsinvestorsretirementfinancial productsiraretirement account
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Eric S. Smith, J.D.

Eric S. Smith, J.D. is CEO of Decision Technologies Corporation, and President and Investment Advisor Representative of Trustee Empowerment & Protection, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor

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Worried about picking the right mutual funds and ETFs for your investment portfolio or your IRA or 401(k)? Rita℠ is the solution. Rita℠ is the only Retail Investment Tracking Application℠ that quickly and easily answers this key question: "Of all the available choices of mutual funds and ETFs, which ones are best for me? With Rita℠, you can feel confident that you're picking the best mutual fund and choices for your future. Stop guessing what's best for you - let Rita℠ do all the hard work!

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