Driving into the office on a mild, foggy morning in Southern California, I was listening to the radio when Chuck Swindoll shared a quote that grabbed me:
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom
I couldn’t help but associate this concept with my own life, but also in the context of investing. As humans, worry is a normal emotion that comes as a result of various reasons. For many, it is past experiences or a desire to control; there may be a number legitimate causes, but often it is simply the unknowns of the future and a lack of conviction today. The reality is, we cannot control much of the future and even if we could, it probably wouldn’t turn out the way we expect.
Each day I work with both companies and individuals, many with limited experience and exposure to the public stock and bond markets, that are often approaching this area of their life from an emotional premise. Most will categorize it as being a conservative investor, but in reality, fear of loss is not the same as being a conservative investor. No one expects to lose. It is a question of the volatility and process in the journey.
Investing, and life for that matter, is best approached with a conviction based on science (truth). The foundation for a good long term result is built on the presupposition of certain economic and mathematical truths. Only after these are understood can the application be implemented and then monitored. Adjustments are often neccessary, but the stronger the conviction, the less change is required and the better long term result will occur.
I often ask clients; is investing art or science? The answer is both. But the art can only come after the science (math) is understood. There is much more to this, but the idea of worry, fear, etc. is a battle that must be fought with truth, not feeling. Even our own daily life can be acted out in this way. Building my convictions on truth, I can make adjustments as surprises come, realizing they will come, no matter how much I worry about them. Robbing today of its “strength” will not change tomorrow, but will certainly affect today.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” -Matthew 6:34
Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was imprisoned for her actions. As a young boy growing up in the church, I heard and read stories of this amazing women. Her resolute commitment to her calling and trust in the Lord is an amazing story of fighting back worry/fear.