Few people have ever heard of Sandy Irvine. There is evidence to suggest that he may have been first to the peak -- 29 years earlier than Hillary.
Irvine’s climbing partner George Mallory’s body was found just a few hundred feet from the peak. Since the highest temperatures are well below zero, clues are well preserved. Irvine’s camera with the answer has not been found -- yet. Therefore, we may never know in those three decades in between if others may have also reached the peak.
This much is clear. Hillary gets the credit because he was the first to make it all the way back down to be able to tell the story.
I was trained on Wall Street to climb mountain charts in the late 1990s. There before me was a dizzying map of different paths to invest in diverse assets. Navigating from the lower left of any page along jagged lines to the upper right was the climb everybody wanted to make. As long as there were higher peaks ahead, Wall Street’s answer to any question about risk was “just hang in there.”
It took me many years of studying those little wrinkles in time (we’ll zoom in on one below) -- which looked so smooth if seated far enough away -- before I began to question those stories with math’s tools.
Eventually, I escaped Wall Street’s mountain of conflicted assets because “hang in there” is not a plan. It is recurring revenue for the mountain’s shareholders.
Remember, Wall Street’s obligation and business model is to serve shareholders first. Investors need their own Sherpas, called independent fiduciaries, to lead only their clients’ best interests up AND down mountains -- in all weather and conditions.