Financially Speaking Podcast

"It's not time to worry yet." To Kill a Mocking Bird

Published on January 22, 2016

It seems as if everyone is worried these days.  I can’t count the number of times recently that I see or hear the term ‘worry’.  Investors are worried.  Financial markets are worried.  Economists are worried.  They seem to be worried about everything-the price oil, the stock market in China, bank loans in Germany, interest rates in Europe, inflation that might be, a recession that might be, or a financial crisis that might be.  Just a whole lot of worry.
               “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what my never happen”
                 -Benjamin Franklin

Surprisingly, there are great lessons about worry in the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. From the time that Jem could have gotten caught by Mr. Radley; to the Atticus assuring Jem and Scout when the trial took a bad turn; to Atticus telling the Robinson family that the Governor could commute his sentence, it  just wasn’t time to worry yet. Mr. Radley could have fired his shotgun at Jem; the trial could have gotten worse, might not commute the sentence.  But it serves no purpose to worry until something actually happens. 
               “Drag your thoughts away from your troubles…by the ears, by the
                 heels…or any other way you can manage it.”- Mark Twain

Time and time again, I see the emotions of investors twisted by the constant worries in the financial markets.  But there always are worries in the financial markets and it seems to be worry about the worst case scenario.  We always buy into the worrying about the worst case scenario. Somehow it is easier for us to latch on the idea of the worst rather than somewhere between here and the worst.  Successful investing requires us to realize that it’s not going to be a bad as ‘they’ say, nor as good as ‘they’ say.
                 “Worry is most often a prideful way of thinking that you  
                   have more control over life and its circumstances than
                   you actually do.”- June Hunt

I don’t know if the price of oil will go down to $10 per barrel.  I don’t know if a worker in China can afford to buy a car to drive the global economy. I don’t know if the stock market is going up or down.  But I do know that I can’t do anything about those things.  And I do know that building wealth requires us to stop worrying and to react to none of these things we cannot change. 

By the way, after all the worry this week the stock market closed up about 200 points today.  All that worry yesterday is useless today.

Tags: Stock market worry

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