I always had a love/hate relationship with trading stocks. I loved it from the moment I opened my first brokerage account, almost 15 years ago. But I kept losing money trading stocks for years.
I would buy hot stocks, feel good when they went up for a while, but sooner or later there was always a crash. And I always sold at a loss or I got out at the price that I bought. That was the painful part of trading stocks.
But no matter how much I lost and how much time I stepped away from the market, I always loved publicly traded stocks. To me, there’s something special about the stock market. I don’t know exactly what the charm is, but I think it’s the accessibility.
In theory, any person can participate and make money by simply buying a stock at the right time. Investing and trading have the characteristics of a game; gambling, excitement, and solving problems.
So many of us think the source of fear is uncertainty. After all, there are so many unknowns in life.
But before you address your fear, you want to know why you have fear before you find a solution.
Most of us assume that uncertainty is the cause of fear. So what do we do? We try to remove uncertainty by…
- Getting every insurance policy possible
- Obtaining degrees we think can give us better jobs
- Working jobs that are supposed to look good on our resumes
- Networking with people we think we need to survive
What a waste of energy!
We are doing the wrong things while the answer is right in front of us. One of the most fascinating thinkers of the 20th century is Jiddu Krishnamurti. He didn’t subscribe to a particular philosophical movement, but his ideas were close to Buddhism.
When I was in high school, there were a few people I sometimes hung out with. We would sometimes skip classes, go to town, play pool, and have drinks.
At that age, it felt good to rebel a bit. When we were together, we were loud and annoying. But we thought it was cool.
I was talking to my best friend last week about how most of those cool guys ended up as losers. My friend Quincy grew up in a different city, but he also had the same type of friends.
Those guys started their adult lives on a downtrend. They didn’t go to college, took low-wage jobs, went to clubs every week, had unstable relationships, racked up debt, and so forth.
In life, things usually follow a trend. The trend is mostly going upward, and things are getting better, or it’s downward, and things only get worse. Even when things are moving sideways, it often feels like a downtrend because everything else around you seems to keep moving up.
Last night, I had the urge to open a bag of potato chips and eat until it’s empty. I like those hand-cooked thick chips from Kettle or Tyrrells.
I almost grabbed a bag, but I decided to grab a small cup of Greek yogurt instead.
It was the smarter choice. A week prior, I went for the potato chips and I felt like my stomach was about to explode. That was the normal, not-so-smart choice.
We often make those types of not-so-smart choices. But we know that’s not in our best interest. We just need a little reminder, now and then. Here’s a list of choices that can improve our lives.