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Are investors hardwired for failure?

You’re Wired to Fail–Really!

By: Curt Stowers

50% off your dream car!

Great news! That dream car you have been fantasizing about for months just went on sale for 50% OFF AT YOUR LOCAL DEALER! No joke, really! Kidding aside, if this WERE a reality, I’m guessing that anyone who is contemplating a new vehicle would jump at this chance and move forward with the purchase.

After all, the market tells us the normal value of the car, so getting it for 50% off is unheard of.

You buy the car when this happens.

And yet we hesitate on the market

Change “car” to “S&P 500,” and I’m guessing the excitement you felt about the 50% drop in price (for the car) turned to a feeling of terror and discomfort when you think about your investment portfolio dropping in price.

I’ve yet to see the individual who is NATURALLY excited when the market drops. I have decades of experience, have been through multiple downturns, studied extensively, and am 100% confident in the power of the markets/power of human ingenuity. And still when we get a 30% drop in the market, that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach shows up.

We are NOT wired to deal with the market. It evokes fear, and we need to invoke discipline to protect our financial security:

  • We must all live with one of two pains. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret – Jim Rohn

So what is the answer?

Great question! There are three things that you can do, in my opinion:

  • First, acknowledge that the fear you are facing is both normal and real. Trying to hide from reality never works.
  • Second, remember that while feelings are real, remember that they don’t always reflect reality. This is a huge concept that many individuals fail to grasp, and it leads them to act on their emotions versus on their intellect. Big mistake!
  • Third, stick with your plan—the plan you made when you were in full control of your emotions and living 100% (or as close as possible to 100%!) in the rational.

Does this guarantee that you’ll be comfortable? Nope. Does it guarantee that things will work out as they have in the past? Nope. But, in my experience, this is the best recipe available. And until someone shows me a better one, I’m staying the course.

Hopefully you’ve taken away an idea or two away from today’s message. If even one individual somewhere in the world does so, my efforts will have been worthwhile!

Would You Like More Support?

  • Do you have a well-defined Investment Policy Strategy that is used to drive your investments in support of a comprehensive financial plan?

  • If not, would you like to partner with someone who is used to helping people get through these struggles and (then, with confidence) implement portfolio strategies in a systematic manner while focusing on your desired outcomes?

If so, feel free to send us an email or give us a call. We’d love to have the opportunity to help you find a bit more peace of mind when it comes to investing.


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F5 Financial

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