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Investor Mindset: Realism vs. Declinism

Among my favorite authors of financial books and writing is Nick Murray. His book, Behavioral Investment Counseling, addresses this notion of the battle in the investor's unconscious mind - a battle between faith in the future versus fear of the future - and how an investor's lifetime return will be to a very great extent governed by by which of these impulses wins. Murray concludes that investors who observe historical declines and subsequent rebounds can only conclude the advance of the American economic and financial success is permanent while the cyclical downturns which punctuate it are temporary. He states, "All of which - the long-term medical/scientific, technological and financial economic truth - is meant to demonstrate just one thing: optimism - what I choose to call "faith in the future" - is the only realism. Long-term pessimism - or what I'll call declinism - is, on the other hand, deeply counterintuitive."

Murray beautifully states, "No one examining the record of humankind, especially the record in our lifetimes, would arrive logically at a declinist conclusion. You'd have to read into the future something which has no historical basis or precedent."

Into which camp do you fall? Stuart McGehee | 206.259.0575 |

DISCLOSURE: Pacific Northwest Asset Management, LLC (hereinafter “PNW Asset Management”) is an investment adviser registered with Washington State. PNW Asset Management may not transact business in states where it is not appropriately registered, excluded or exempt from registration. Individualized responses to persons that involve either the effecting of transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made without registration or exemption.

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