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prices rise on what is ostensibly bad economic news. This seems counterintuitive but in these instances the market is moving due to events not turning out as bad as the market anticipated.

A final reminder is that it is pointless to chop and change your carefully designed portfolio based on the opinions of economists, strategists, journalists and other commentators. Sometimes these people will get it right. Most of the time, they’ll be wrong. And even if by chance they do predict the direction of a market move, they might still be off on the timing. There are just too many moving parts to make speculating a viable strategy. The future is uncertain. That’s the way it is. But keep in mind that much of the noise and forecasting in the media over events in the past two years - whether it was Brexit, the US presidential election or the path of the global economy - have turned out to be wrong. Ultimately, what you need is an investment portfolio that is designed for you and your goals, one which lets you sleep at night and makes you feel comfortable. Once that’s in place and you accept that the world will always be uncertain, you won’t have to waste your time reading the tea leaves. Now might be a good time to start a media fast. You will be happier!

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* Laetitia Peterson is a personal wealth adviser and is married to competition barrister, Andrew Peterson. She has worked with companies such as Goldman Sachs and boutique funds management firm Liontamer, which she co-founded with Janine Starks. She is now the CEO and founder of The Private Office, helping successful lawyers achieve the financial goals important to them and their families. Laetitia is the author of a book called Legal Tender which examines the attitudes of lawyers to money. ** Patrick Fogarty recently joined The Private Office as a Client Director. He returned to New Zealand after 10 years with Dimensional Fund Advisers in London where he helped grow the business into one of the largest fund managers in the UK and Europe. He is very familiar with evidence-based investing and has given numerous seminars on the subject. Having serviced hundreds of independent financial advisers, he has a clear view on how ‘real’ advice should be given.

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Profile for New Zealand Bar Association

At the Bar April 2019