Brad Rempe, CFP®, AIF®

For those experiencing Greece fatigue and tired of hearing how what is happening there is wearing on financial markets, I’ll apologize in advance for adding yet another commentary on the situation.

For many Greek citizens the years ahead could prove to be challenging and difficult times and I certainly don’t minimize the pain this could cause. However, the upshot to this situation is there are many good lessons to be learned from the experience (implications of persistent borrowing, productive vs. wasteful spending, lack of growth and economic transparency, etc.).

I wish this wasn’t the case, but we know well that learning happens many times as a consequence of a mistake. Understanding what to do often comes from knowing what not to do. Economic and financial textbooks are filled with case studies centering around this idea. When something goes wrong, there is opportunity in the experience to prevent repeating the mistake. My hope for the Greeks, as well as the rest of the world, is that we’re paying attention and don’t miss the lesson(s).

As investors, although the particulars of this situation are unique, we’ve seen examples of financial crisis many times in the past. The urge to act in response can be strong, but this is often the wrong thing to do.

The embedded video of Dimensional Fund Advisors’ Weston Wellington provides us with some useful perspective on this most recent historical financial crisis and, hopefully, reinforces a lesson we’ve already learned.

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