Weekend Reading: You Have to Want What Your Wants Lead to — Applying Second-Order Thinking to Financial Planning

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

The title of this article might be a bit of a tongue twister, but it makes an interesting point when it comes to making wiser decisions, specifically in the financial planning process.


View all angles: Upon making any choice in life, the concept of second-order thinking allows you to consider all aspects more thoroughly. As stated here, it means when you’re presented with any issue (big or small), you don’t simply take the first available solution (as so many do with first-order thinking). Instead, you account for all potential outcomes (good and bad) that could result from a single financial decision.

Slow down: With this mindset, you give room for pause and reflection. For example, if you make a snap decision to pull out of the market one volatile day, you also have the potential to miss out on a market upturn. On the other hand, you could also rebalance and tax-loss harvest to reap the opportunities provided in these volatile moments.

Above all: When you have the ability to maintain a long-term mindset, that means you understand the long-term impact of your short-term decisions.