I’m now going to get quite personal with you. How does your lifestyle affect your ability (or inability) to invest?
My advice to you is to first take stock of your everyday life. Are you too busy to pay attention to your health?
In my 20s and early 30s, I ate anything and everything that was ‘easy’ and required the least preparation. I didn’t have an exercise routine and lacked energy and concentration – not good when you have a family and are trying to build a second income.
What have I realised since?
A regime of healthy eating, exercise, good sleep, social interaction at work and with family and friends sharpens your senses, keeps you motivated and inspires you. Importantly, it lifts your attitude to become open to opportunities and make rational decisions with your money!
When I look around me, I see many people who frown and seem distressed, worried and anxious. I smile at (mostly) everyone, but no-one smiles back! I get a certain pleasure in doing this because when even only one person reciprocates, it’s as though I’ve made their day. And often the sad faces I see and meet are those with money problems.
If this is you now, don’t gamble, invest or make any financial decisions, however attractive the ‘sure thing’ looks. Simply wishing you had more money won’t get you out of this hole. You need to solve your problem quickly.
What should you do?
- If it’s your health, seek professional advice. Don’t make excuses, or try to figure out what’s wrong with you.
- If it’s your finances, seek professional help or ask someone you know who can guide you in this area. A good Australian resource is the ACCC1 : its ‘Where to get help when you’re in debt’ guide is excellent. It’s important to remember that when you’re feeling ‘low’, you become vulnerable to get-rich schemes that promise ‘instant’ gratification. Gambling, buying shares or investment plans you know little about is DANGEROUS.
- You might be in a troubled relationship – whether intimate, with family or with friends. I believe this is the hardest to reconcile and fix. Whether we like it or not, our lives revolve around those nearest and dearest to us.
- Is your work situation happy or unhappy? I know I couldn’t possibly turn up for 8 to 10 hours a day working in a place that made me miserable. Anyway, I wasn’t ambitious, because the people ‘higher up’ the chain didn’t inspire me.
My first and last permanent job (which lasted 35 years) did not pay a 6-figure salary that my colleagues aspired to. But I LOVED IT. My goal was to build a second income (my Dad’s advice!) and get home in time to make healthy dinners for my family – not to attend endless meetings, compile reports and spreadsheets. This wasn’t my thing and bored me senseless.
Now, that excited me! Reading the business sections of newspapers, talking, listening and observing with the objective of finding the next share to buy.
When life took a beating, I took a deep breath. I didn’t trade until things went back to normal and I could make rational decisions again. The best part was that because I saved, invested and built my portfolio, it was earning dividends: I could always sell 1 or 2 shares without having to borrow on my credit card.
Do you dream of being happy, healthy and focused? Your lifestyle determines your wealth or lack of it.
Nothing runs smoothly in life. When there’s a bump on the road, will you grumble and crumble? Or will you be IN CONTROL?
Well … here’s where your PERSONALITY comes in, in its close link with your lifestyle. Invest 5.0 will explore this very subjective but important element.
1 Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.
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