The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

This phrase, or something like it, is often associated with the swearing in of witnesses while giving testimony in court, and, by extension, in other contexts.  The idea behind this relatively comprehensive approach probably reflects, in part, concern over testimony that may be technically true, but may be misleading, taken literally, due to omissions or additions that could leave an incomplete version of the truth.

It is very difficult, perhaps impossible to find a definition for the word “truth.”  If you find this comment questionable, go to your preferred search engine and see what you can find.  On the other hand, most of us know what the word lying means.  But what happens when someone carefully skirts the truth instead of telling a bold-faced whopper?

This is important for investors.  In assessing information, from any source, regarding an existing or potential investment, it is usually worthwhile to carefully parse the available information in order make sure that you have the whole story.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA