Regular readers of The Financial Woman blogs know that I am a firm believer in making use of exercise and driving time to learn through CD’s and downloads. Many believe that multi tasking is passé as we enter an age of simpler living with less noise and clutter in our lives. I certainly believe there are times for totally focused thought but personally see a clear advantage of distraction while walking up a steep hill with heat in excess of 90 degrees sitting in traffic or long road trips with less than desirable scenery and restless teenagers. I find that listening to the right information greatly enhances each of these experiences and frequently feel newly inspired and motivated to try freshly learned tasks or alter my thinking where I may have previously been stuck. As such I have been enjoying The One-Step Solution by Dr. Henry Cloud on my morning walks which have become earlier and earlier due to the Texas heat but wonderful nonetheless especially with the regular sightings of spotted newly born deer.
One of the major insights I have received from Dr. Cloud relates to a theory he presents surrounding improvement in areas of our lives where we need it. He says that we should seek the areas of pain in our lives and create rules surrounding this area. I thrive on structure as I believe many of us do along with all children and teenagers so I love this theory.
The area of investing and money absolutely come to mind here especially following 2008. Is there pain surrounding your investments? Is the pain about the drop in the value of your portfolio or perhaps the fact that you paid someone hefty fees while the value of your securities declined significantly? Maybe the pain involves that nagging feeling about lacking knowledge about your investments and procrastination about learning what would make you feel more secure and empowered. Perhaps there is pain simply because you lack order surrounding your money due to not really knowing what you have where it is and the associated potential risk.
Solutions to the pain according to Dr. Cloud come from setting rules surrounding the pain. This could take the form of committing to meeting with your financial advisor twice a year to become more aware of potential risk or seeking a new one if you are unhappy with your current advisor’s performance. It could be a commitment to learn what you need to know to hire a new advisor or to feel more confident when you meet with your advisor. Maybe the rule would be to increase your investment education to learn more about market cycles. It could be organizational rules in the management of your own investments such as spending Thursday afternoon reviewing and filing financial paperwork. It could even be listening to an audio while exercising to enhance your knowledge about investing.
Is there any pain in your life surrounding your money? If so what specific rules could you put in place to eliminate that pain and empower you? Create and then follow the rules you need to feel confident and accomplished regarding your money.