This week’s Top Reads are all about challenging conventional thinking in order to be successful. From saving for retirement, to beliefs about time and money, to second opinions on your portfolio, these articles may change the way you think about your finances and your business.

In the personal finance section, Russ Thornton shares why oversaving for retirement can be detrimental, Jeremy Walter argues that time does not always equal money, and James D. Harrington discusses why hiring multiple investment advisers can cause “diworsification” of your portfolio.

In the personal interest section, Adam Bradenburger explains how to come up with strategies using analytical tools and creativity together, and Cat Clifford turns to world leading innovators Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos for advice on running a successful business.

For more articles like this, check out Raghav’s two previous Top Reads posts here and here.

Personal Finance 

Can You Save Too Much?

A recent survey conducted by Northwestern Mutual regarding retirement preparedness among Americans revealed the following:

  • 21% of Americans have nothing saved for retirement
  • 10% have less than $5,000 saved

With these stats in mind, some of Financial Planner Russ Thornton’s clients are worried that they won’t have enough savings and are actually overpreparing for the golden years. Thornton says that while this may seem like a good practice, oversaving can actually be detrimental, for several reasons.

You can save all you want, but if you’re so stuck on having enough money for retirement that you forget to live in the moment and enjoy your wealth now, you’re going to feel imbalanced in your life.

In this article, Thornton explains how to find balance between oversaving, underspending, and minimizing regret. For the full article, click here.

The Money Value of Time

We’ve all heard the phrase time is money, and it means different things to each of us, depending on our values. In this article, Jeremy Walter says that time is more valuable than money and breaks down when he feels it makes sense to pay someone for a job or to do it himself.

I don’t believe that Time is equal to Money. I believe Time is more valuable than Money simply because Time is non-renewable. The key is to figure out how to better utilize Money to best allocate our Time.

Walter provides a brief summary on how to do just that in this article.

How Many Investment Advisers Should You Hire?

Just as too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the broth, hiring more than one investment adviser can wreak havoc on your investments. CFA and assistant professor James D. Harrington says that while many believe having multiple investment advisers can work to diversify your portfolio, it tends to have the opposite effect and cause what is referred to as “diworsification.”

Employing more than one adviser pretty much guarantees your rebalancing process will not be synchronized, thus defeating the benefits of diversification.

In this piece, Harrington provides four ways that diworsification (or having more than one adviser) can create inefficiencies for the investor. For the full article, click here.

Personal Interest

Strategy Needs Creativity

Strategy professor Adam Bradenburger has noticed that business school students frequently feel frustrated when learning about strategy and the importance of using analytical tools. While they are forced to learn these tools, they know that true innovation actually comes from creativity and most want to exercise that creativity. Bradenburger says we must use both.

If we want to teach students—and executives—how to generate groundbreaking strategies, we must give them tools explicitly designed to foster creativity.

In this article, Bradenburger shares existing tools that encourage creativity and walks us through the four approaches to building a breakthrough strategy using contrast, combination, constraint, and context. To read more, click here.

Counterintuitive Advice That Leads to Legendary Business Success

Amazon and Apple are two of the world’s most successful businesses, formed by well known technology innovators Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, respectively. What Jobs and Bezos have in common is that they both went against the grain when it comes to conventional business knowledge. Rather than listening to the customer, Jobs and Bezos had to work ahead of the customer; creating products the customer didn’t even know they wanted.

“The most important lesson that I learned from Steve Jobs — and I learned many lessons from Steve Jobs — is that you cannot ask your current customer how to create innovation, revolution to get to the next curve,” Kawasaki says. “Because your current customer can only express what he or she wants in terms of what he or she is already getting from you.”

For more on the leading innovators and their business strategy, read the full article here.



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