The Pike Syndrome
Ever hear of the “Pike Syndrome”? It comes from an experiment in which a Pike, i.e., a big, very ugly, predator fish, was placed in a tank. The researchers then dumped gold fish or some other lame, tasty looking fish into the tank with the Pike.
Next the researchers divided the tank into two compartments, separated by a transparent acrylic wall. Then, they dumped a second set of gold fish in the compartment that did not house the Pike but they made sure the Pike could see its new neighbors.
The Pike beat itself bloody trying to get a second meal. Finally, bruised and embarrassed, it gave up. You know what happened next?
Researchers are twisted. They then lifted the partition out of the tank and the dumb Gold Fish swam around the entire tank without a care in the world.
The Pike did nothing. It had learned helplessness from the pain of past failures.
Don’t Be a Pike: Identify the Key Defects in Your Financial Planning Decision Making
I am of the opinion that any type of planning should identify defects in decision-making.
I spent the early parts of my career drafting estate planning documents. I also litigated. Over time, I saw the problem. I actually think I suffered a bit of PTSD. Respectfully, retirees can be kinda mean.
However, the main thing that bothered me was the extent to which my clients suffered.
I could tell you stories. In most cases, my clients suffered intentionally. They took deliberate steps or refusal to take steps that led to financial devastation. I mean that quite literally.
With regards to long term care, clients are somehow conditioned that they won’t need it. This is not good decision making.