Trumped by the truth

24/02/2017   John Hopkins, Executive Chairman


Does Trump tell lies?

We all know the answer to that.

And if he doesn’t believe that they’re lies that he tells, he must believe they’re just ‘sales puffery’, ‘white lies’ or even more laughably, ‘alternative facts’.

Even my young children know the difference between ‘white lies’ and ‘lies’; there is NO difference. And as for ‘alternative facts’ – I mean come on! Lies are lies are lies.

Now it seems we live in a world where telling lies and committing to actions that you either can’t do, won’t do, or don’t know if you can do, is just the ‘normal’ state of modern U.S. politics.

Thank goodness we are not quite at that point here in Australia – but if our leaders Shorten, Turnbull, and others don’t take a hard stance, it won’t be long before we’re the same.

How terrifying to think that the leader of the free world could have been elected on lies and or sales puffery.

To think that lack of and complete disrespect of issues of equality – whether relating to gender, race or religion – could also be at the core of winning an election in such an important western democracy, is absurd and worrying.

However, we are where we are.

Trump is President.

So with this absurd reality set, we turn to asking ourselves what this means for your future financial wellbeing and what should you be wary of in this modern world where lies flow like currency.

Well, in regard to the first matter, Trump’s presidency should see you approaching your future financial wellbeing the same as you always would.

That long term plan should not be changed.

In other words, taking all into account to this point, there is nothing Trump has said or done which has had consequences that can be seen today or into the foreseeable future, that would have us recommend changes for our clients.

If anything, his commitment to ‘make America great again’ (how egotistical can you get? I think it’s pretty great as it is), associated with some of the planned actions to initiate his contentions could, and in fact have to a recognisable degree, lifted the U.S. economy and positively influenced the general world economy since the election. This view seems to be supported by a number of pundits and may continue in the short term, and possibly out to about five years into the future.

Of course as we go forward this will need to be considered, on balance, with possible negative impacts on world trade, foreign affairs generally and specific impacts for Australia.

But no doubt if the U.S. economy is firing, the positive ripple effects of this will be felt across the world – in more ways than just economically.

As for the second point, we need to take a lesson from Trump.

He may have become President on lies, sales puffery and promises that will not be kept – and maybe that’s worked for him.

However unlike nearly everyone else on the planet, he really didn’t have anything to lose.

His father left him the equivalent of billions of dollars, which he has nurtured and sat on through to today. He obviously doesn’t mind who he insults, hurts or annoys, and his narcissistic personality seemingly knows no bounds and could not be penetrated even by a ballistic missile.

But that is nearly certainly not your situation.

Often we, The Hopkins Group that is, are told we are conservative in our advice and our rhetoric.

I don’t believe we are conservative; I hope and believe that we are caring, accurate and real.

Lies, exaggeration, false promises, and unrealistic views of the future are not what you should build your future on.

Whether it’s in politics, religion, industry and financial services generally, or more specifically with regard to what you personally should or could do with your financial situation, the truth and reality should reign supreme.

Build on real and correct strategies; be conservative but not so conservative that you never take the correct action.

Just remember; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Lies and unrealistic promises may have worked for Trump, but they will not work for us mere mortals.

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