The chairman’s discovery that the formula for happiness does not include money has led him to hire a life coach to make clients feel better about the poor returns on their investments.
”You’ve heard I hired a life coach?” asked the chairman of the implausibly-sized investment company Second Coming Asset Management as we met for a pint or two of Unbeliever Stop Smirking at The Energetic Energy Of Energy. “Really?” I replied. “I wouldn’t imagine you’d go in for that sort of thing - or indeed that you would think your life required any coaching.”
“Oh, Lou isn’t for me,” said the chairman. “Well, not directly at any rate. She’s Scam’s newest executive director and will be working with any of our clients who wish to be worked with.” “Lou?” I asked. “Louella Minossity - although she prefers to be called Lou,” explained the chairman. “She’s one of the leading life coaches in the whole Hemel Hempstead area.”
“You’ve hired a life coach and she’s called Lou Minossity?” I double-checked. “Is that some kind of joke?” “Barely,” the chairman replied. “Anyway, I fully expect her to be a huge hit with our clients - after all, if we can’t make them any money, the least we can do is make them feel better about not making them any money.”
“I suppose that makes a kind of sense,” I conceded. “But it still doesn’t sound like the sort of thing you’d do. Where did you get the idea?” “From you, of course,” replied the chairman. “It was what you said last week about happiness and how I had all the vital ingredients like wide and deep relationships and a meaning in life and goals embedded in my long-term values and stuff.
“I thought, well, if I’m so blessed the least I can do is try and spread the love - no, I forbid you to laugh at that - and so I mugged up on that company you were talking about, TEN, which said the one true measurement of happiness is the realisation of worthwhile goals. And you know what? It’s only gone and found a formula for happiness.” (Scam continues below)
“Yes, I know,” I said. “It was in the press release I was reading to you. I would have mentioned the formula last week only I ran out of space … I mean time.” “Yes, yes,” said the chairman. “It seems you can measure happiness across 10 categories - career, community, education, family, friends, health, home, leisure, money and partner.”
“I know,” I said. “The press release.” “And then they ask you how happy you are on a scale of one to 10,” the chairman ploughed on. “And the company’s chief executive says happiness seems to have almost magical properties and, while they don’t have proof, the science suggests it leads to long life, health, resilience and good performance.”
“Press release,” I sighed. “Although, in the context of not having any proof, it’s an interesting use of the word ’science’, wouldn’t you say?” “All I know is what the company told me, which is ’the evidence suggests happy people live longer than depressed people’ and ’there is a lot of evidence that being richer isn’t making us happier’,” said the chairman.
“And while that does appear a disproportionate amount of evidence relative to proof and while there do seem to be one or two fairly obvious reasons why depressed people might have shorter lives than happy ones and while, in my opinion, if people aren’t happier for being richer then they are obviously doing it wrong, I concede I am not an expert.
“But then I’m not an expert in emerging markets either, which is why I hired José-Fredo da Bigbadwolff - and it’s the same with Lou.” “Speaking of happy times, did you know the good, good people of Fidelity have found striking similarities between the economic and market backdrops now and in 1981 when Prince William’s parents got married,” I said, trying to change the subject.
“Apparently, like now, investors in 1981 would have been forgiven for shunning the stockmarket. Looking back, shares had failed to keep pace with the rising cost of living in the 1970s while, looking forward, things appeared bleak. Although shares have been volatile in the past 10 years, the 30-year return since Charles and Diana’s wedding has still been a decent 8% a year above inflation.” “Seems a bit … unscientific,” sniffed the chairman.
Will Dale Nicholls do a better job than Anthony Bolton running the Fidelity China Special Situations trust?