Money, Fear and Returns
July. 11 By Vikram Kaul
Money is fear… fear of having it and losing it. Fear of not having enough of it or having little of it. This fear is universal for the human race unless you are in the 0.01% of humanity that has gazillions to work with or has little use of it.
Fear creates neurosis, creates short sightedness, it takes away our calm rational thinking part of the brain and replaces it with something primal which serves us less well in the world of capital markets.
Fear has an upside however; it sharpens our senses and gives one a heightened awareness of the task at hand. So fear directed right can work wonders for anyone. Yet this fear can also be exploited, e.g. by the screaming media headlines, the latest tweets… Distracting us from our long terms goals.
The markets cannot be understood without numbers yet numbers alone cannot explain the market. In between these two view point lies an ocean of grey and its this grey which our ‘fight or flight’ wired neanderthal brain cannot cope with and has us tossing and turning every which way to resolve this grey.
Jumping in and out of the market, trying to time it. Buying and selling the latest trend, keeping ‘dry powder’ for a downtrend coming any day are just coping mechanisms to assuage our fears. The fears of today overwhelms the very real possibility of falling short of our retirement objectives or a lower standard of living
You will often hear snappy terms like ‘FANGS’, ‘BRICS’ and snappy lines like BRICS bite the dust; FANGS are de-fanged… whatever, ignore them.
You know why…
7 Billion people are getting up every morning across the world and trying to better themselves and in doing so are either consuming products or services already available from companies listed in the capital market exchanges which you and I can buy and sell or are creating new businesses to provide them, which we likely can buy or sell tomorrow.
If you cannot cope with the volatility of the day-to-day movement remember it’s the price we have to pay to get the long-term returns of the stock market. I would propose working with a trusted financial partner as another solution despite some calling it self-serving. Might be money well spent and many magnitudes cheaper then hedging cost against the latest worry.