In a way, investing can be viewed as a metaphor for life. Success or failure depend on your approach to the topic. We began this blog almost five years ago (anniversary coming up!) to address a situation that had bothered us for several years.
IFO has wonderful, intelligent, witty, hardworking friends. Most have some assets, including financial assets: cash, land, livestock, stocks, bonds, mutual funds. Many were recent widows.
Several do not take responsibility for their own wealth, but are content to leave it in the hands of their brokers or lawyer who set up the trust on instructions from their husbands.
We’re not sure a person can do much with a trust, except under its written terms. We’ve never inquired about that because it is way too personal. Women in our station in life simply do not discuss our financial affairs with friends. IFO is just infinitely grateful that our own DDH did not saddle her with a trust.
In any event, in an attempt to show people of all ages and genders that doing your own investing can be fun and exciting, we started this blog. Recently, we have learned that younger women are also reading it, so we’ve altered our approach somewhat, now leaning more into a lifestyle direction.
How do you live to get the most (**, $$, ♥♥) in life?
One issue that everyone must face, whether in life or just in investing our excess dollars, is fear. Fear of loss. Fear of failure. That never goes away, but there are tricks to putting fear in its place. Yes, you always should have a shiver of fear in the back of your mind to prevent injudicious moves – financial or otherwise.
We intend this advice for our male readers as well, but we just don’t see the same kind of fear in money matters that we do in our women friends.
Men’s fear issues are more likely to be about performance and competition rather than failure and loss. So, that would be rate of return in investment (in life or in financial assets) compared to an internal measurement (how am I doing compared to last year?) or external (how am I doing compared to the guy in the next cubicle?) one.
No matter, though. Fear causes funny reactions. Some reactions stem from issues buried deep in one’s subconscious. See our June 6, 2015 blog post on that issue.
For example, we recently had a lovely visit with a friend we will call Petunia. She’s a strong, independent, artistic, intelligent woman. We have much in common. As we strolled through a beautiful and calming garden, we chatted about one thing and another.
Then, she mentioned a problem that had cropped up suddenly. It wasn’t a huge one, but quite vexed her.
“I had always enjoyed an occasional glass of wine in the evening,” she said. “But just recently, whenever I have even the smallest glass of wine, I get a horrible migraine afterward. Maybe I’ve developed an allergy to wine. It’s no big deal, I just can’t have wine anymore.”
There it was again! Instead of a bad hip, or bursitis, it was a migraine! The sudden physical manifestation of a symptom with either no apparent cause or an unlikely cause. We talked and agreed that mind, body and spirit are intertwined and each one has an effect on the other two.
Who becomes allergic to wine? Delicately we probed, briefly mentioning our blog post. Could it be due to her recent move with her husband to another state?
No, no, no. They had been considering the move for years and were both on the same page as to where they wanted to go, what kind of house they wanted, etc. So, that wasn’t it. Recent large weight loss? No, her weight had been stable for decades.
We dropped the subject and continued our stroll. Next, we stopped in the cool (in both senses) gift shop. When we came out, the summer heat blasted us and we headed back to the car. This involved more strolling down a shady walkway to the parking lot, several hundred yards away.
Halfway to the parking lot, she stopped. “You know, my mother has fallen several times recently. I think she has begun to drink more than she should. And my sister is an alcoholic. I wonder…?”
“Bingo!” I said. “This doesn’t sound like a deep, subconscious thing you have to deal with, though maybe you could do one mild relaxation exercise. Thank your brain for coming up with the possible solution to your migraines and ask it if there is anything else you should know.”
We both smiled broadly, knowing that Petunia had just begun to solve her problem on her own.