Monday, January 28, 2008

Then again I may have been writing about markets for a smidgen too long…

The worst thing about being a pessimist is that you’re pretty much always disappointed. Life’s going well? Oh well, it’s going to get bad soon enough so don’t get too excited. Life going badly? Oh, of course it is, but it can always get worse. Optimists, on the other hand, have it sweet because the best is always just around the corner.

The absurd thing is that all of this pessimism, optimism stuff is, obviously, entirely psychological. It’s more or less a case of mind over matter. With that in mind, I did attempt once, years ago, to reshape myself into an optimist through pure force of will. Why, I figured at the time, shoud I waste all this energy expecting the worst to happen when I can be happy all the time instead? Hmm, yeah, I think most of you can have a crack at guessing just how well that turned out.

But the weird thing is I’ve started to think of my mindset like the sharemarket. Yeah, I know, I know but seriously…

The market, like my mind, has some sort of natural equilibrium point – an average of all the ups and downs. Sometimes the market goes up and sometimes it goes down but it always comes back to equilibrium. Of course it doesn’t stop at this middle ground – it gets oversold or it gets overbought. When the market’s going up part of you feels like it could keep going up forever even as you know it won’t, just as when the market is plummeting to earth it feels like the end of the world, even though reason dictates it will recover.

Although it is quite a sad simile to pair something as lovely as a mind with something as cold and capitalistic as a sharemarket it’s also quite a reassuring thought. What goes down must come up and just as there is always a way to make money out of a sharemarket slump there is always a way to make the best out of a shitty mindset. Or so I hear. Myself? I’m on a bull run to the sky.

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