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The Same Side of Two Coins

The expression “two sides of the same coin” refers to two things that seem different but are actually closely related. Often in investing, we encounter the opposite: two things that seem very similar at first glance, but are in fact, quite distinctive. I guess you could call these “the same side of two coins.”

Good sounding advice
Sound, good advice

The former is what people want. The latter is what people need.

Simple Investing
Easy Investing

The former is relatively easy to find. The latter does not exist.

Alternative investments
Hedge funds

The former is a catch-all term for investments outside mainstream stocks and bonds. The latter is a compensation scheme.

Great company
Great stock

The former isn’t necessarily the latter. The latter is not necessarily the former.

Timing the market
Time in the market

The former is the enemy of compounding. The latter is compounding’s best friend.

Index funds
Passive management

The former can be actively managed. The latter can be accomplished with active investments.

Diversification in theory
Diversification in practice

The former seems prudent to most people. The latter is very frustrating for most people.

Quoting Warren Buffett
Acting like Warren Buffett

The former is done by many. The latter is done by few.

A financial plan
Financial planning

The former is a document. The latter is a process.

Investment returns
Investor returns

The former is on paper. The latter is what you eat.


Before calling heads or tails, investors should first make sure they are flipping the right coin.


About the author

Phil Huber, CFA, CFP®

Phil is the Head of Portfolio Solutions for Cliffwater, a leading alternative investment adviser and fund manager. Prior to joining Cliffwater in 2024, Phil was the Chief Investment Officer for Savant Wealth Management, a multi-billion dollar wealth management firm. Phil has been involved in the financial services industry since 2007. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He is a member of the CFA Society of Chicago. More about me here. Twitter: @bpsandpieces

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