Is Control REALLY an Illusion?

lift-btnIt’s a little-known fact that the “close door” button in elevators isn’t actually connected to anything.

In the early days of automatic elevators, the Otis Company received complaints from customers who didn’t like the fact that they couldn’t control the closing of the elevator doors. Otis responded by added a dummy button on the panel, which immediately stopped the complaints. Why did it work? Because that button made customers feel that they had control over their environment.

The fact is we live under illusions of control every day. The steering wheel in our car makes us believe that we have complete control of our environment. As we zoom down the expressway at 70 mph, we are in constant danger, but we feel safe. People under estimate the risks they are familiar with and over estimate the risk of unfamiliar experiences.
As humans, we tend to keep our minds focused on the things we can control, and do our best to avoid thinking about those things we can’t. While this thinking allows us to live life comfortably in our world, it can also wreak havoc when it comes to making sound financial investments.

In the financial world there are many “fake elevator buttons,” like changing investments to recent best performers that play on the human need to feel in control. Conversely, there are times when it’s actually financially healthy to feel “out of control,” yet, those shying away from a good calculated risk have lost millions in potential earnings.

At Eagle West Group, we paint a very clear picture for our clients. We understand how wanting to be in control can work both for and against the investor. However, we never present a fake button for you to push. Instead, we speak very plainly. We tell you the truth and we walk you through every step of the risk/reward scenarios. While this style isn’t for everyone, we find that the most successful investors are the ones who are less attracted to illusions of control and more interested in waiting calmly for the elevator doors to close on their own.

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Advisory services offered through EWG Elevate, Inc. dba Eagle West Group.

This represents a partial list of clients. They have not been compensated and were not selected based on duration, performance, account size.