Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 10:33
Humility, or I should say the lack of humility, is a quality that is easy to identify in others, yet difficult to see in ourselves. Humility is a difficult quality to develop because it may threaten our sensitive egos. Ego is important; we all have one. Our very survival depends on what “I” do or what happens to “me”. In addition, a healthy ego gives us a sense of purpose, value and confidence.
The Lure of Envy
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Wed, 02/24/2021 - 14:44
The color green is attributed to many positive things in life. Green is often used as a symbol of prosperity and even represents life itself. But not all green is good. Being green with envy is a characteristic we should avoid like the plague. As Charlie Munger put it, “There’s an old saying, ‘What good is envy? It’s the one sin you can’t have any fun at’. It’s 100% destructive.”1
A Persistent Forecast for 2021
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Wed, 01/06/2021 - 11:04
Persistent (def) - continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period
Wall Street forecasts lack persistence. Their shelf life may only be a few weeks or months at best. 2020 was a great example; once COVID hit, existing forecasts became worthless. And this happens just about every year – excuses abound as to why the “experts” got it wrong…again.
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Mon, 11/02/2020 - 11:26
Tis the season of gratitude. Thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most underappreciated holidays, but most needed. Given the year we have endured it may be difficult to be naturally thankful. This year may require us to purposefully and intentionally seek to be grateful.
Uncertainty, Outcomes & Our Decisions
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Wed, 09/30/2020 - 15:13
The brain has a lot of gray matter but hates gray areas. As a planning machine, the brain needs information that is certain so it can figure out the best course of action. And when we don’t get certain information, we get agitated. Perhaps you have said, “I don’t care if the news is good or bad, just tell me what it is. Not knowing is the worst.”
The Allure of Pessimism
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Tue, 09/22/2020 - 16:19
As we enter emotionally charged presidential campaigns, we should prepare ourselves for an onslaught of pessimism. Election talking points tend to be more slinging mud about the other candidate than a candidate’s outline for future prosperity. Why do they focus so much on the negative?
The Virtue of Optimism
Posted by Stephen N Frank on Fri, 05/01/2020 - 10:20
The current pandemic breeds a lot of uncertainty and fear. The media actively participates spreading the fear. Headlines often accentuate the negative because that is what gets us to tune in.
Pessimism and cynicism are weirdly addictive. While addictive, they can also be destructive – both mentally and financially. Most of us don’t seek them out, but when we encounter them, we just can’t turn away. They can consume our thoughts and affect our mood. It is easy to be a pessimist. It is more difficult, yet more virtuous, to see the good - even in bad times.
Preserving Your Mental Health
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Wed, 04/01/2020 - 16:06
The challenges we face today are unique and significant. The Coronavirus has unleashed uncertainty, economic pain and shelter-in-place for much of the population. Any one of those alone can impact our mental health; the combination of all three can wreak havoc on us.
The Coronavirus: A Healthy Perspective
Posted by Benjamin Kyler on Mon, 02/24/2020 - 11:11
We have our first surprise of the year: The Coronavirus. Just last month I wrote in my annual forecast that we will be surprised by something this year. This is likely the first of several unexpected, unpredicted events we will experience in 2020.
It’s a good time to take a step back and identify what we know, what we don’t know, what we can control and what we can’t control. Those types of thinking exercises can help us make good decisions.
Posted by Stephen N Frank AIF® on Tue, 12/03/2019 - 10:06
Oftentimes we look at others’ success and see some circumstance that may have contributed to said success. While circumstances may make it easier or more difficult to achieve success, they do not create success on their own. Researchers have found that mental toughness and perseverance predicts our level of success more than any other factor.