"'Show me the numbers.' Big hearts and hard heads can come wrapped in the same skin."

David G. Myers wrote a fascinating book called Intuition: Its Powers Perils, which synthesised psychological research on the very slippery, easily misunderstood topic of intuition. (See: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.)

Myers write especially well in relation to the failings of human intuition, and specifically our inability to understand probabilities. I read his book many years ago, and it has had an enduring impact on my perspective on how we need to look at the big issues of our day.

He explains:

“When considering ways to spend money to spare injuries and save lives, smart people will not be overly swayed by rare though dreaded catastrophes. To be wise is to be mindful of the realities of how and why humans suffer and die. The wise person’s humanitarian plea will therefore be: ‘Show me the numbers.’ Big hearts and hard heads can come wrapped in the same skin.”

Myers quotes Melissa Finucane - if "statistics are human beings with the tears tried off," perhaps we need to "put the tears back on." There are too many things that get our attention because they are emotive, relative to things that fly beneath the radar, which have much broader, more insidious effects. 

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is the founder and principal of Fairhaven Wealth.

Before founding Fairhaven Wealth, Sonnie worked in the legal and financial services industries for over a decade.

Sonnie first became involved with financial advice as a specialist financial services lawyer. For many years, he was an “adviser of advisers”, reviewing thousands of advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and providing feedback in relation to the quality and appropriateness of advice; industry best practice; risk management; and regulatory compliance. He has published work in industry publications and spoken at various financial advice conferences.

Sonnie has also worked with banks, investment management firms, insurers, and derivatives providers.

Sonnie has worked as a private client lawyer, focusing on succession, estate planning and trusts. He ran his own legal firm in Australia before relocating to New Zealand. He has also acted in independent trustee and company director positions.

Sonnie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and manage the risks to which they are exposed.

He has written extensively on his blog, New Zealand Wealth and Risk, which can be found at www.wealthandrisk.nz.

Sonnie is married to his wonderful wife Chrissy, and has two young children, Ben and Anna.