One of them is that “This market is trying to climb a wall of worry” and is the gist of this week’s iScott blog. Our goal is to have investors learn how to “Climb OVER this wall of worry” and use certain knowledge to do so to their advantage.
People worry about so many things they shouldn’t. Conversely, they don’t worry about the things they should. The point is to “get over” the wall of worry. Just get over it.
People may worry about the US deficit yet they do little to control their own budget deficit at home. (they don’t cut expenses when they can and should)
People may worry about the rising costs of higher education yet they do little to make increases to college funding for their own family.
People may worry about nuclear proliferation in N. Korea and Iran, yet they have failed to assemble any disaster preparedness kit (ample water, fuel, propane, first aid and generator)
People worry about “the market”, “the president”, “the deficit” “mass joblessness”, “rising prices” and “this horrible economy”. Believe it or not, people we know actually spend time, energy and emotions worrying about these items when they have no control or influence over the outcomes of any of them.
Meanwhile, people we see everyday are neglecting to control and influence so many things they do have power over: Diversification, home budgeting and finding bright spots in the economy.
The greatest teacher and mentor I have ever known gave me a piece of advice that I was able to glean and use from the day it was given. His name is Phil James, a retired business man known for his ultra strict business standards and unwavering punctuality, almost to a fault. James taught me, “Don’t ever spend time or energy worrying about anything you cannot influence or control.” He advised, instead, to do the opposite.
The other day while having a great conversation with a couple of business owners, one of the partners countered my optimism for our future with open ended questions about the so-called failing economy and she cited gas, prices, under-employment and the deficit. She admitted innocently that was she is indeed “worried” about these things and it made sense to her when I asked what, if any, control, she may have over any of it. When then opened a new conversation about business continuation and estate planning techniques which directly have an impact on her family and, here’s the clincher, that she had an immediate and direct influence on the outcomes. Now she’s spending time and energy worrying about something she can fix and, as she fixes it, the “worry’ will subside.
To quote the noted scholar Van Wilder, ‘Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere”. In other words when we worry, we go back and forth, but never move forward.
People do spend time worrying about the items of the day such as Avian Bird Flu, SARS, West Nile Virus, H1N1 and Anthrax. If you want to climb a wall of worry every week, make sure its something you can control and/or influence. If not, you’ll never “get over it”. The “wall of worry” that is.
D. Scott Bloom, CFP®
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor before investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.
LPL Financial, Member FINRA / SIPC