Devil is in the detail

Devil is in the detail, also known as “god is in the detail”, means that something is hidden in the details. Or there is a mystery that needs to be solved and there needs to be much more understanding. Many things in life seem simple on the surface, whether it is a low income family completing an application for financial assistance, a potential investment, friendships or relationships, businesses, and many other things. But there is sometimes stuff hidden in the details of all those things and many others that needs to be revealed.

Some things are not as simple as they seem on the surface. The mystery is there, but it needs to be found; thus the Devil is in the Detail. Or there may be something wrong or an agenda, or something is hidden and just not right. The saying also reinforces the fact that the truth, if it exists, is in the details.

This concept applies to everything. While I have always be a strong believer in the details and I think keeping this concept in the forefront of my mind has helped lead to financial success, such as understanding stock investments, the ins and outs of my business, and more. However sometimes I get away from the approach of finding what may be hidden in the details, and when I do I am occasionally reminded of its importance. It seems like everytime I get away from it I am rudely reminded again that god/devil is in the details, and it has made me even stronger believer in Devil in the Detail.

I strongly believe details are important when it comes to financial success. I am a huge believer in specializing in a career or business, and becoming really good at a small number of things. Eliminate the distractions, focus on a small number of activities as well as the details of them, and excel. Understand the hidden aspects of a skill, and be a master at addressing it. There are also studies on this topic, and we wrote about specializing in a skill for a higher income.

While there are no promises in life, eliminating the mystery in an activity, and fully understanding something can improve chances of career as well as financial success. Learn the details, and specialize in role. This concept can apply for a low income family seeking a better job or higher income, or someone in a high skilled career. Specializing, and learning the details, is great for a small business owner too. As a small business owner can’t be good at “everything”, they need to focus and know all the details about a small subset of things in order to complete.

When investing, the devil is in the details there too. It is a great idea to spend some time understanding the company, reading the recent earnings report(s), and maybe even looking at the SEC financial statements. After all, Devil in the details also means things may be hidden. So find what may be hidden. As I for one know you can invest in some bad companies.

As what looks like to be no fail investment opportunity may be a company with troubles, or it could even be a scam. As I know of people who literally invested in pyramid type scams in which they were promised a certain return on their money. No one can even promise anyone a certain, minimal return on an investment opportunity….red flags all around when someone does that. Sadly, many elderly people are targeted by these scammers, which make their offer sound like a no lose situation. But they too should take the approach of Devil is in the details. Read more on senior scams.

Families applying for financial assistance, such as food stamps or TANF cash aid, need to go thoroughly over the details of the application. What may sound too good to be true (such as some public aid or grants to help with bills) may have other hidden requirements for that low income family. The Devil is in the Detail on those applications, the requirements, and the financial help that may or may not be given. The devil is in the detail is there when it comes to applying for loans, credit cards, or any financial product. Read the find print, find the hidden agenda or information out there.

Devil is in the details also comes to employment matters as well. Often things may sound too simple at say a job offer. Maybe the salary is great and the interviewer gave a good impression. But before starting, go with a list of questions on responsibilities. Get offers in writing. Drill down into the details. understand the salary, benefits, and compensation. There may be a mystery or something hidden there as to why things sound so great.

The devil is in the details applies to almost everything in life, even relationships and personal matters as I am also reminded. It is critical to understand what is hidden, dig below the surface in relationships, and find those details. Ask why or how, drill down, keep questioning to find what may be off in communication or relationships. If something does not sound or seem right, there is usually something hidden in the relationship and it is probably not right. The Devil is in the Details applies to personal life as well.

My approach to Devil in the details is to be inquisitive; ask questions. After you get an answer ask why and when an answer comes up, ask why or ask how again. “Why” and “How” are great question/words. If someone is trying to sell you something and they say it will solve a problem, ask why it will. When they answer, spin the question again and ask why or how again. Keep drilling and inquiring in an effort to find the truth, as it is often in those details.

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