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What I'm reading #34: Investment fears

By Sam Instone - August 26, 2021

This week I was invited onto The National’s podcast, Pocketful of Dirhams.

We spoke about breaking the fear of investing.

Fear around investing isn’t abnormal.

In fact, it’s entirely normal because we’re human.

More below.

Fear is a terrible financial strategy.

It may feel like worrying helps but, like everything else in life, there are things you can control and things you can’t in investing.

As Shantideva put it, “If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you can’t solve it, then what is the use of worrying?”

And as Carl Richards says in his latest piece: “Action is strategy, worry is not. So make a plan.”

Stuart Ritchie also touched on fear this week.

Investors have enjoyed seeing the numbers on their financial statements climb for over a decade.

With every step higher, there is farther - potentially - to fall.

And it isn’t just the stock market.

With interest rates near all-time lows, the potential for losses in the bond market has also grown.

Investors are wary of being too optimistic.

Some are anticipating a decline and remain nervous to enter the market.

How can you keep your investment cool in an environment like this?

Stuart shares 5 ideas.

I’m an avid learner, and I was fascinated by this article on 'how to remember what you read'.

What you read can give you access to untold knowledge.

But how you read changes the trajectory of your life.

Moving on…

You know I talk often about the three money mindsets.

Because of who we are and the life we have led, one of the three is usually more important to us than the other two.

And when it comes to important or stressful financial decisions, we generally have a primary focus.

This focus is your ‘MoneyMind’.

Your money mind influences your view about finances and any financial decision you make.

These fall under three categories:

  1. Fear (The Protector)
  2. Happiness (The Pleasure Seeker)
  3. Commitment (The Giver)

I read two articles for those with commitment mindsets – the givers.

One talks about age making us more generous.

And the other on the psychology of giving to charity.

Do people really get more generous as they grow older?

Two new studies suggest we do and that this change in our motivations runs deep.

Studies find older people donate more money to charity and care more about others.

Further reading in the first article.

In the second, research reveals that giving to others produces numerous psychological and physiological benefits.

Giving not only helps others, but it also rewards yourself in measurable ways.

It may even increase your lifespan!


A question for you:

When did you last do a kind deed for someone? How did that make you feel?


This week’s meditations:

“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.”
- Simon Sinek

“No one has ever become poor from giving.”
- Maya Angelou


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Have a great weekend and enjoy the ‘light’ reading! 


Stuart Ritchie's blog 'How to remove your fears about the market [5 easy ways]'

Carl Richards' 'Don’t worry… it doesn’t help.'

Farnham Street's article 'How to Remember What You Read'

Alison Gopnik in The Wall Street Journal 'Yes, Age Does Make Us More Generous'

Stephen Johnson's 'How generosity changes your brain'