Comprehensive lifestyle changes including a better diet and more exercise can lead not only to a better physique, but also to swift and dramatic changes at the genetic level, U.S. researchers said on Monday…READ MORE.
My Take: I’ve linked to the story above not only because it’s very interesting and can have profound implications if true, but because your quest to be a successful investor should not harm your health and/or life. If external stimuli have such an impact on us that it can cause certain genes to activate or deactivate, then you seriously need to consider how the management of your portfolio is effecting your own self.
I don’t talk about this topic all that much because the management of my investments is not all that stressful to me. I’ve lost a lot in a day and I’ve made a lot in a day, yet at the end of the day nothing was final. I try my best to keep things in perspective. Any investor that has been in the game long enough has stories where they’ve lost of a lot or where they’ve made a lot. No one is immune.
If your nerves do not allow yourself to relax and not get too carried away with a large change in portfolio value, I would not necessarily advise that you give up on self-directed investing. I would recommend that you stay out of individual stocks and gravitate toward fund investing. Basic exchange traded funds (ETFs) exist that mirror broad based indexes, such as the S&P 500 and the Dow.
When you invest in a broad based index that is made to represent a large swath of the economy you are really betting that economic development will be positive in the future. When investing in these funds you can rest assured that one corrupt accountant, a dry well, or a plant shut down is not going to derail your portfolio. It would take an event or a series of events MUCH greater than any of those events.
The bottom line is that you should put your health before your portfolio. If investing is causing your to lose sleep or some other negative problem, then try what I recommend above. Matching the market is not a bad thing at all…historically it has been a pretty consistent path to steady wealth creation.