Quick question: What do you usually find yourself reading? News summaries, headlines, and quick bits to keep yourself updated? Or longer reads like books and articles?

We’re ever more inundated with information that’s eager to capture our attention. We click because we want to stay up to speed and avoid missing out. The trouble is, the news is always changing. There’s always a new headline or story to chase. And the more we chase, the more we feed the need for constant updates.

If you’re like us, you’re often wishing for more time to delve into the deeper stuff. The book a friend recommended. That long-form article you have saved in your email (it’s been there for weeks) Those are the reads that can change our lives. Not the constant drip of passing information that loses relevance almost as soon as you’re done reading. That kind of deep attention takes dedicated effort that’s hard to find in our frenetic world. However, in making time for the deep work, we’ve learned a few things we’d like to share.

One of the principles to long-term investing is knowing what to ignore. As Financial Architects, we’re constantly consuming a flood of analysis, economic reports, breaking news, earnings reports etc. etc. etc. To use that information, we’ve had to develop frameworks to channel what we read and use it to paint as complete a picture as possible. To be able to know what to focus on and what to ignore as noise. It’s a constant battle.

Here are a few other valuable (and often overlooked) principles that I’ve learned through deep reading and experience:

– Most things happen in cycles.

– It’s usually better to pursue small wins over time and avoid big mistakes than to chase big wins.

– Always question what we “know.” Especially about markets and the economy.

– A need for action is often about a desire for control. Often, doing nothing is the right move.

– Focus on finding good value for money.

Bottom line: so much of what we read is noise. It takes dedicated effort and close attention to sift through it for insights. We’re watching markets and we’ll check in as needed when we have something valuable to share.