Investing and health can be two of the most important things in life, but sometimes they also can be the most confusing. There’s so much data and advice, so many articles—and unfortunately, they often don’t agree.
So, I wasn’t surprised to see that one of the bestselling books of the year is physician Peter Attia’s Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity, which looks at recent scientific research on aging to explore strategies for not only living longer but also living healthier. I was struck by the parallels between how he talks about health and how we at Dimensional think about investing.
Here are some of his main observations about health:
- – There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
- – There are no quick fixes.
- – It’s better to prevent problems than find yourself in the position of having to fix them.
I’ve been making similar points about investing for decades. Specifically:
- – There’s no one-size-fits-all investment solution because different investors have different goals and risk tolerances. I believe that the best investment plan is the one a person can stick with.
- – There are no quick fixes in investing. This is for two reasons: First, although the US market has returned, on average, about 10% a year, it rarely does that in any given year. (Usually, it’s much higher or much lower.) Second, to take advantage of the miracle of compounding, an investor needs time. Good investing, like good health, requires long-term discipline and commitment.
- – Investors can be proactive about how they approach investing by making peace with uncertainty, building smart portfolios, and developing a plan that accounts for a wide range of outcomes.
I’m also struck by the way Attia describes his role as a physician, which feels similar to the way good financial advisors approach their work. He sees himself as a “translator” who wants to help people understand what medical advances mean to them as individuals. That process is rooted in science, but there’s an art to applying it differently for each individual patient. There’s an art to implementing financial science, as well.
Having a healthy “wealth span” is about more than accumulating money.
For decades, Dimensional has worked closely with financial professionals to help translate financial science. Investors benefit from understanding their investment decisions and what they should expect over their L.I.F.E. (Lifetime Integrated Financial Experience).
We should want to make the best-informed decisions about our health while recognizing that outcomes are uncertain. It’s the same with investing. Attia sees the goal of medicine as prolonging not only our life span but also our “health span” so that we’re in the best shape to enjoy doing what matters most to us. At Dimensional, we want investors to have a good investment experience so they can use their savings to lead the lives they want to live while feeling safe along the way. Having a healthy “wealth span” is about more than accumulating money—it’s about maximizing L.I.F.E.
Attia calls his approach “Medicine 3.0.” Medicine 3.0 emphasizes prevention over treatment, treats each patient as a unique individual, and focuses not just on surviving but thriving. Medicine 3.0 represents an evolution over Medicine 1.0, which centers on crisis management, and Medicine 2.0, which incorporates scientific advances but not enough emphasis on holistic, personalized care.
Borrowing that framework, you can think of Dimensional as Investing 3.0. Investing 1.0 is active management. Investing 2.0 is indexing. And Investing 3.0 draws on both and improves on each: using flexible implementation to lower costs, tilting portfolios to emphasize historical drivers of higher expected returns, and offering clients tailored solutions to help them pursue their financial goals. At Dimensional, we’ve been applying rigorously tested financial science—grounded in academic research and proven in the real world—for over 40 years.
Helping people change how they approach their health is important work, but to me the work we do at Dimensional is just as important. In a sense, we’re pursuing a common goal: empowering individuals to make informed choices so that they can lead healthier, wealthier lives. By recognizing the importance of prevention and individually tailored strategies, we can help lay the foundation for a future where individuals not only survive but thrive—in all aspects of life.
The information in this material is intended for the recipient’s background information and use only. It is provided in good faith and without any warranty or representation as to accuracy or completeness. Information and opinions presented in this material have been obtained or derived from sources believed by Dimensional to be reliable, and Dimensional has reasonable grounds to believe that all factual information herein is true as at the date of this material. It does not constitute investment advice, a recommendation, or an offer of any services or products for sale and is not intended to provide a sufficient basis on which to make an investment decision. Before acting on any information in this document, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your particular circumstances and, if appropriate, seek professional advice. It is the responsibility of any persons wishing to make a purchase to inform themselves of and observe all applicable laws and regulations. Unauthorized reproduction or transmission of this material is strictly prohibited. Dimensional accepts no responsibility for loss arising from the use of the information contained herein.
This material is not directed at any person in any jurisdiction where the availability of this material is prohibited or would subject Dimensional or its products or services to any registration, licensing, or other such legal requirements within the jurisdiction.
“Dimensional” refers to the Dimensional separate but affiliated entities generally, rather than to one particular entity. These entities are Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, Dimensional Fund Advisors Ltd., Dimensional Ireland Limited, DFA Australia Limited, Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada ULC, Dimensional Fund Advisors Pte. Ltd., Dimensional Japan Ltd. and Dimensional Hong Kong Limited. Dimensional Hong Kong Limited is licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission to conduct Type 1 (dealing in securities) regulated activities only and does not provide asset management services.
Investments involve risks. The investment return and principal value of an investment may fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original value. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee strategies will be successful.
Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investment products: • Not FDIC Insured • Not Bank Guaranteed • May Lose Value
Dimensional Fund Advisors does not have any bank affiliates.