A celebrity make-up artist recently made the following comment when interviewed by the New Yorker Magazine: ‘’It’s Instagram Face, duh. It’s like an unrealistic sculpture. Volume on volume. A face that looks like it’s made out of clay.”

Instagram filters are programs that run on the Instagram social media platform. These digital photo filters help to make mere mortals like us look like perfect deities. Photo filters are nothing new. Photographers have used them since the inception of the discipline.  What makes the digital social media version of these filters interesting is that they are now being used by the mass market to filter out any self-perceived ‘imperfections’ on the users’ faces or bodies, typically when they take ‘selfies’. 

This technology is not only for photos. You can now take a ‘selfie’ with your phone’s camera, filter the photo to your ideal self, and then make a hyper-realistic video based on the filtered ideal photo. 

Take a look at the video link contained in the image below. The video illustrates how this technology works.  It uses a photo of the Mona Lisa painting to create a video. 

Click on the image to play the video:

What many users of these social media filters fail to realise is that the Mona Lisa, widely considered to be the most beautiful painting of all time, is beautiful because of its imperfections. Mona Lisa’s real name was Lisa del Giocondo (Gherardini) and Leonardo da Vinci perfectly captured her real-world imperfections. She probably would have smiled when seeing how today’s teenagers try to filter out their deemed ‘imperfections.

Investors often fall prey to the same type of thinking in their pursuit of perfection. It is a natural inclination to try and time the perfect investment entry and exit points. Ideal forex rates and index price levels are two common examples. Whilst waiting for ideal exchange rates or index price levels, many investors miss out on potential investment returns. A better strategy is to invest with fund managers who have proven their ability to successfully invest across different market cycles by following a consistent investment philosophy. Their performance might be imperfect over the short-term, as long as it works in the long-term.

By following a consistent investment philosophy, we can appropriately position the specific fund manager, and their philosophy, in client portfolios. By blending different investment philosophies (growth, value, deep value, core), our clients can successfully navigate different market conditions.

For more information on the subject of Instagram filters and how they are affecting society, our investors can search for The New Yorker magazine article titled: The Age of Instagram Face.

As always, we welcome any comments, queries or questions you may have.