WEDNESDAY WEALTH RECAP
- According to Alexander Green, we’re seeing signs of a possible bear market. Avoid having to recover from a complete wipeout with four simple steps that Alex has recommended for more than 20 years.
- This week, Nicholas Vardy warns of the coming Evergrande meltdown and the struggles China’s economy will face as the consequences of its decadeslong debt unravels. Worldwide dilemma? Nicholas takes his stance on the issue.
- Inflation might be a nightmare, but we always wake up from even the worst of dreams. Manward Press founder Andy Snyder reminds readers that inflation isn’t here to stay. In fact, he says we should begin to see it subside in the months ahead.
Editor’s Note: Here at Liberty Through Wealth, we understand the strong hold our emotions can have on our financial decisions.
That’s why in today’s article, author, therapist and life coach Dr. Joel F. Wade points out that making a good investment isn’t just about the numbers. He says, “The key to successful investing is to know ourselves.”
The more we get to know the ebbs and flows of our moods and emotions, the more likely we are to understand our decision making.
– Madeline St.Clair, Assistant Managing Editor
Today, let’s look at how understanding our moods can help with our performance and decision making – especially when it comes to our investments.
Our emotions and moods are different things from different systems. They interact, of course, but distinguishing their respective qualities can be helpful.
Emotions can wash over us like waves: a wave of grief or sadness; a wave of joy; or a wave of fear or anger.
They come and go, and if we pay attention and allow them to move through – without trying to stop them or hold on tightly to them – we can use our emotions to learn about what we might do differently, thereby growing our competence and wisdom.
Moods, on the other hand, tend to move more slowly and deeply – more like the rising and lowering of a tide than a wave. And that tide can affect our energy, our outlook and our experience of the world in profound ways, coloring our perception and skewing our judgment.
There are things that tend to bring our mood down. Specifically, losing an important person or a lifestyle; feeling stuck or helpless; or pursuing goals that are beyond challenging – goals that are actually impossible to achieve.
Our habits can also lower our mood and cause problems, such as irregular sleep patterns, unhealthy routines or self-destructive behavior.
Our mood will drop and our energy will wane in response to these kinds of circumstances.
When we don’t pay attention to the lowered mood – and what may be causing it – our mood can drop further and continue to drop to the point where, eventually, we end up in a deep depression.
But let’s say that our mood has dropped a bit, and this time we’re paying attention and catch it.
What will happen then?
Being Attuned to Your Mood Signals
One of the benefits of a lowered mood is that, for a time, our ability to think analytically actually improves.
The healthy function of a lowered mood, after all, is that it alerts us to stop what we’re doing and reassess to see whether there’s a better strategy.
We’ve all had the experience of working on a project and getting to a point where we feel stuck, without a clear idea of the next step.
We’ve persevered for a reasonable amount of time, trying to push through, but it feels like we’re hitting some kind of wall. We feel stuck, and our energy for the project wanes.
Then we take a break, go for a walk, do something different and come back to the project with fresh eyes.
We’ve paid attention to the signals our mood system is sending us. “It seems like you’re stuck,” it says. “Step back and reassess your situation to find another route.” Honoring that message will allow us to find the door and stop hitting the wall.
If we can catch ourselves at the point where our mood is beginning to drop and aim ourselves toward problem-solving, we’re likely to make better decisions. But if we ignore the initial signals and let our mood drop for too long, then our thinking begins to suffer – with a stronger tendency toward negativity and even catastrophic thinking.
That’s why when we’re in a mildly lower mood, it may be a good time to form an effective investment strategy or rethink what doesn’t seem to be working so well.
But a more deeply lowered mood can interfere with clear thinking. We’re less likely to see potential opportunities. We’ll constrict our sense of possibilities and see only the downside. Because of this, we’ll be more pessimistic and less likely to take the actions we need to take.
The beauty of knowing all of this is that – since we already have a sound strategy in place – awareness of our changes in mood can help us stay the course on what we’ve planned. Then we can take the positive actions that our plan calls for, even when we really don’t feel like it.
Now, what about when we’re in an elevated mood?
Our mood rises to enable us to joyfully celebrate wins, to give us the energy to take risks, to lean into opportunities… to be bold so that mighty forces can come to our aid.
A raised mood readies us for action.
But in firing us up to take risks, it can also color our judgment, making it less likely that we’ll see the downsides of what we feel like doing.
So when our mood is raised, we can feel seduced by our excitement into moving away from our well-thought-out strategies and toward more impulsive, possibly foolish – and potentially very expensive – decisions.
A couple of signs that we’re about to make more impulsive decisions from a raised mood are…
- If we feel rushed to do something quickly
- If we avoid talking with anyone else about it.
That’s when it’s time to step back, reconnect with our long-term strategy and deliberately have a conversation or two with someone we trust. That will ground us and give us the perspective we need to choose wisely.
There are always trade-offs in life. To achieve anything, we have to accept a certain amount of risk; to conserve anything, we have to be willing to forgo a certain amount of potential reward.
As with any long-term good in life, the key to successful investing is to know ourselves.
In this case, the more we can understand how our moods affect us, the better able we are to draw from the strengths of a lowered or raised mood… and avoid the pitfalls.
P.S. I have two courses available for those looking to take control of their emotions and life.
My course A Master’s Course in Happiness can help you to take charge of your habits and your life in ways you may not have thought possible.
Secondly, Mastering Emotions, Moods and Reactions can help you use biological systems in much greater detail, with deep understanding and practical skills for mastering these systems and living well.
And I’m now offering BOTH at a lower price.