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Charlie’s Swan Song

Charlie’s Swan Song

March 13, 2020
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Charles Tan is known around town as Charlie Tan. Charlie Tan is known for his incredibly high intellect and ability to predict the future - just ask him. Charlie Tan is always the smartest person in every room - he’ll tell you. Charlie Tan is so sure of this because he comes from a place that is filled with the smartest, most highly respected people on the planet. This place is called Economist-MBA-MPT-Average Advisor-Buy the dip-Time in the markets, not timing the market-Land. It was brilliantly renamed Expert-land to make it easier for normal minded people to understand.

Charlie Tan loves swans. The majesty of a perfectly alabaster (white - Charlie Tan feels the need to define alabaster for you), large, winged bird sets his heart at ease and his mind free. He knows, as long as this world is filled with creatures of such beauty, and only these purists of swans, nothing can go wrong. He takes a walk every day by the lake to see his favorite group of perfectly white swans. One day, a friend of his casually mentioned how interesting it would be if there were swans of different colors. Charlie Tan, aghast at the thought of anything other than his perfect bird, berated his friend into submission. This thought was not interesting to Charlie Tan - it was disgusting. Charlie Tan decided to devote his entire life’s work to disprove the idea that there was anything other than White Swans and he enlisted all the residents of Expert-land to help further his cause.

Charlie Tan and the other residents of Expert-land, whose intellect is matched only by the volume of their voices, set out to convince the world of their White Swan theory. Convincing the world of Swan Purity was easy, given their clearly superior intellect, evidenced by all the professional designations and abbreviations after their names. The White Swans became a beacon of hope, perfection, and prosperity. The world is able to tuck in every night, knowing that the swans of the world were exactly as they understood them and that the people of Expert-land had everything under control, allowed for perfect global harmony.

One day, while Charlie Tan was on his daily swan walk, he spotted a dark figure in the middle of his favorite family of swans. His pulse quickened, though his pace did not. He continued his slow walk toward the lake, thoughts swirling. As he approached the figure, his eyes cleared, as did the fog of complacency. There, in the middle of the lake, was a Black Swan. Charlie Tan died instantly.

Charlie Tan found himself standing in front of a gate and its keeper. The gatekeeper asked Charlie, “Now that your entire life’s work is worthless, and your mark on the world is the infinite damage caused by Expert-land’s White Swan theory - more damage than could have ever been done by acknowledging the possibility of multi-colored swans- what do you have to say for yourself?” Charlie Tan, sullen, forlorn… a ruined man… lowered his head. But, slowly, a beautiful thought started to form in his self-ascribed, perfectly intelligent mind. As he started to fall backward, pulled downward by something… not gravity… something else…he shouted for the keeper and the world to hear, “Thank God there is only one Black Swan!”

Breandan Kelly is the Founder and CEO of Fort Myers Wealth Management Group. He has over two decades of experience working in the financial industry. He is focused on improving client outcomes through enriching client education and understanding client expectations. Breandan believes that pursuing an active risk management strategy is the best way for clients to pursue their goals. Schedule a complimentary call with Breandan at

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.