Don’t Do This if You Want to Be a Happy Investor
I know my fair share of happy, satisfied investors who love their life and love their work. Unfortunately, I also know plenty who are completely miserable. I’m always baffled by this, because I’m a firm believe that people make their own happiness. So it made me wonder, what is it that’s making these people so unhappy?
I think I’ve come up with a few reasons, all of which you should NOT do if you want to be a happy investor.
Compare Yourself to Others
One thing I noticed was that many of the guys and gals in the miserable group spent a lot of their time dwelling on the actions of others. Inevitably, they wind up comparing themselves to people they consider more successful, and then they proceed to beat themselves up. Don’t do this! It’s really toxic and unhealthy, and it doesn’t benefit anyone. It’s okay to admire another investor and use them as a role model, but if you’re prone to jealousy or a “woe is me” attitude, that’s when things can turn bad. My recommendation: remove the temptation for unhealthy comparison, which usually seems to come from social media (looking at you, Facebook).
Spend ALL Your Time Working
I’ve been talking a lot lately about finding a positive work-life balance, and this concept also applies here. If you spend all your time working or thinking about working, you’re practically guaranteed to be miserable. Everyone needs leisure time in order to unwind and reconnect with family and friends. So make sure you’re getting enough downtime!
Try to Do Everything On Your Own
Another common trait I see among unhappy investors is that they tend to try and handle everything on their own. They want to be a one-man or one-woman show, which naturally becomes too much, and they wind up overwhelmed, stressed, and miserable. On the other side of the coin, you have the happy investors who understand that being successful in this industry is a team effort. Remember, everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. No one person can be good at everything, and if you attempt to do it all solo, you’re only going to hurt yourself – mentally, physically, and yes, even financially.
Did you know that you can actually drive yourself crazy by analyzing things to death? It’s true, and sadly I’ve seen it happen to some otherwise great investors. There’s a fine line between good analysis, where you take all the relevant factors into consideration and make an objective decision, and overanalysis, where you ponder every last little detail, worrying the whole time that you’re overlooking something, and before you know it, you’ve either lost the deal to someone else or you’ve gone totally mental. Now let’s throw another term in the mix: underanalysis. I’m not even sure that’s a word, but you catch my drift. These are the folks who don’t study up on prospective investments, and instead make impulsive, and often poor, decisions. Try to find the middle ground here – shoot for just plain old analysis, and leave the over- and underanalyzing to the other guys.
Like I said, I’m a big believer in finding your own happiness. I also believe that it takes work, and you have to actively seek out and do things that will lead to your satisfaction. All the actions listed above are things I’ve personally seen in investors, and the outcome is never good. So don’t do them!