Recently I have spent a lot studying websites like portfoliocharts.com and portfoliovisualizer.com. First, let me say these are fantastic sites. I often find myself enjoying their rich wealth of data about the past returns of various investments, and the historical characteristics of different portfolios.
At the same time, it seems that I have crossed the line from doing enjoyable research to something… else; namely, trying to find out what the “perfect portfolio” is 🙁 This might seem valuable or logical to do, but I feel as though I have fallen into a bit of a blackhole. In the back of my mind has been this somewhat nagging voice, saying, “You need to figure out the right answer. You don’t want to get this wrong. It’s too important.”
The problem is, this line of thinking totally sucks. It just feels concerned, unhappy, and unsatisfied.
I’m not enjoying it, and I’m not enjoying myself as I think about it.
So now I’m going to ask my own inner guidance about this.
So what’s the deal here? What is the difference between the “right” answer and the answer that feels best for me? How can I find the second one and put down needing to find the first?
Your questions are great because you care about this area. We can feel your confusion, your fascination, your concern about “getting it wrong.” We think that you are worried too much about something you can’t help. Why is it so important to be right? What is so bad about being “wrong”? And in whose eyes?
Well, I mean, if I choose an investment and over the next, say, 25 years, what if it doesn’t perform so well as another investment? What if I’m disappointed? What if I don’t like the results? I want to feel satisfied!
Yes, of course. But don’t you see? As you say that, can you feel how unsatisfied you are? Can you feel how sucky this whole reasoning feels to you? If someone says to you, which would you rather stick your head into a pig sty and slurp up all the mud or stand in freezing cold river for two hours and not move a muscle, which would you choose?
See, your line of questioning is between SUCKY and SUCKIER! Can’t you feel how out of whack this is?
Wow. Um… I guess so. I mean, that’s really a good point. You are right, the whole line of questioning sort of sucks. “What’s the right answer?” As if I can find it. It feels: concerned, unhappy, unsatisfying. Wow, you are right. It totally sucks. I don’t like it.
We think it is excellent that you think a lot about this thing you care about. As long as you are enjoying yourself. As long as it is fun. A happy journey will arrive at a happy destination. But we think preoccupying yourself with this is not fun. Check your own feelings. You can tell.
Yes. Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that. It’s totally a great point. Wow. So, if the line of questioning itself isn’t satisfying, isn’t fun, isn’t inherently rewarding in some way… it’s off.
Well, of course! If the cake is filled with rat poison, do you think it’s off to eat it? Of course!
Yeah I guess so. I guess I just didn’t know I was ingesting vibrational rat poison! Lol.
I mean… yuck. That sucks. I feel bad.
There is nothing to feel bad about! You are becoming more discerning in your own thinking. This is wonderful.
Yeah, I agree. I hadn’t really asked myself how this line of questioning was feeling.
I will be more discerning in the future. Thank you!
Notes on this discussion:
I find it very interesting that when I checked in with myself here, the response was a very deep-down, gut check of how this was feeling. I guess I was expecting something more analytical and numbers-based, since after all this deals with investing research. Something like, “Well, you know these numbers here say this, and that number says this…”
Instead, I got a very no-nonsense, straight-forward response to “is this satisfying?” No! No, it’s not. And that is what matters.
Looking at it logically, trying to find the “right answer” about the future investment returns is kind of ridiculous. After all, it’s the unsolvable riddle. Because it’s impossible to know, trying to figure it out anyway obviously just sucks!
Also, I think this pre-occupation comes from fear of being wrong. It is inherently fear-based, lack-based, instead of alignment and possibility based.
This is an excellent reminder to put my thoughts to the satisfaction test.
I already feel like a wiser human being.
Note to self: Hey, Mr. Investing Junkie, lay off the rat poison!