Cut Through the Noise


Written by : John Shrewsbury

Managing Partner

Let the hating begin. I am a Kenny Chesney fan. I have been for years. I find it hard to dislike anything about “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems”, going “Coastal” or any of his other songs about sun, fun and summertime. But as the eternal beach bum gets older, it’s evident that he’s getting a bit more serious about the messages his songs convey. And, I am finding that some of his latest lyrics carry a depth that is pleasantly surprising.

I ran across his latest single the other day and was struck by how dead-on it is about the world we live in, especially my world of communicating about retirement, investments and your money:


Sometimes I wonder, how did we get here? Seems like all we ever hear is NOISE! …”


Growing up, I can remember only being able to get 4 or 5 TV channels with the rotary antenna atop our family home. And there were only 3 television networks with news broadcasts once a day for 30 minutes. My, how far we’ve come…or have we?

“24 hour television, gets so loud that no one listens. Sex and money and politicians, talk, talk, talk. But there ain’t really no conversation, ain’t nothing left to the imagination. Trapped in our phones and we can’t make it stop, stop, stop.”


When it comes to the business of money, investing and retirement, there are now at least 3 major cable channels devoted to telling you how to handle your hard-earned dollars. Couple those with the endless magazines, websites and newsletters and it’s easy to see why we’ve never had so much information and yet have so little understanding.

“…we didn’t turn it on, but we can’t turn it off, off, off.”


Here’s why you should be “pulling the plug” on some of these sources when it comes to your money.


Clearly, their interests aren’t at all aligned with yours. And simply put, someone in a distant studio can’t possibly know about how you’d like to spend the freedom you long for in retirement. Nor can the writer of a newsletter know the nuances of your personal situation: the parent you’ve got to care for, the trips you want to take, the time with family you want to spend.


Sadly, they likely don’t care.

Their interests are to keep you buying, viewing and reading. TV networks depend on ratings to sell advertising and ratings are achieved by keeping you locked in with breathless messages about the latest overblown development on Wall Street. Websites purporting to be sources of retirement righteousness depend on the tally of “unique visitors” in order to document for their advertisers that someone is interested in what they have to say. None of those business propositions make it likely that the purveyors of information have the least bit of interest in actually helping you with your money. They are interested in you ultimately making THEM money with impunity on whether their “guidance” actually makes a difference in someone’s life. All of this would simply be a glowing description of a modern world annoyance except for the fact that the noise can derail you from YOUR purpose.


“…drowning out all the dreams of this Tennessee boy, just trying to be heard in all this NOISE.”


The drama of the crisis-de-jour, the babble of the hottest stock of the day or the news of a certain company missing their earnings estimate by a penny are simply “financial pornography”. Real pornography is a lie of sex, disconnected from love, designed to string you along in an insatiable desire for satisfaction. Such are the constant streams of financial information when they are disconnected from the basic question “what does this have to do with me?”

…Can’t stand the noise…Can’t take the noise”


Financial satisfaction might be harder to find than true love, but the journey begins with a conversation. A financial advisor with the heart of a teacher can work with you to filter out the distractions and guide you as you journey toward your goals. You, like Kenny, might be dreaming of being “On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful”, “Living Fast Forward” or just “Be as You Are”.   Whatever your plan, turn down the noise, find a guide, get focused, and get busy.