Turning the Blind Eye? By: Gabriel PotterMBA, AIFA® 2016.07.18

Before I write the weekly blog post, I often do a quick review of the news, hunting for topics of importance which might interest our audience.  Sadly, it has been a busy week in the news.  There were more terrorist attacks in France, this time in Nice.  The Black Lives Matter movement has been marked by several reciprocal police shootings, both in Dallas and Baton Rouge.  Turkey underwent a quick military coup d’état attempt on Friday with a post-coup purge occurring throughout the weekend.

All of these matters are deadly serious, but, upon consideration, I felt these topics were better left for other commentators to discuss.  Am I turning a blind eye to bad news?  Has the week of steady equity gains and all-time highs in the US market left me willfully ignorant or illogically optimistic?

I don’t think so.  All of these world-shaping events are deeply significant, but they may not get attention in this blog, unless they change into something which has the potential to materially change the economic or legislative landscape.   

The primary readers of this blog are retirement plan sponsors and institutional investors concerned about the investment landscape and their legal and ethical responsibilities.  We are not turning a blind eye to negative events in the world.  It’s important to realize that, as shocking and tragic as these events are, they are overridden by forces of economic growth, global integration, and legislative impacts within this blog’s context of investment and institutional plan management. 

Let me give you an example:  as I’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, I’m a huge political junkie.  The political selection process is more interesting to me than NFL draft day.  The Republican National Convention in Cleveland promises to be more entertaining than the deeply rehearsed pageants of the previous election cycles.  This is the equivalent of stuntmen operating without a net; this is live theater and anything can happen.  It all starts today and I could write a million blog posts about it but it’s still essentially theater.  Nothing is going to change in the US political cycle until we are much closer to Election Day and so a daily play-by-play doesn’t help our audience.  Alternatively, we might cover the Brexit – the British exit from the European Union - extensively in blog posts, monthly articles, and in-person market presentations since it directly is an attempt to limit global integration and it has the capacity to change investment strategies.  Both events are important and newsworthy.  But our scope defines which story end up taking more time and (virtual) ink.

Gabriel Potter

Gabriel is a Senior Investment Research Associate at Westminster Consulting, where he is responsible for designing strategic asset allocations and conducts proprietary market research.

An avid writer, Gabriel manages the firm’s blog and has been published in the Journal of Compensation and Benefits,...

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