Financially smart individuals are more poised, less reactive, more confident and live longer. They are balanced people and generally not given to extremes. After having gained a very broad understanding of the various traps in Real Estate investments, let us for a brief while visit topic of “Saving & Investing”.
If there are “Vicious Cycles” then there are equally powerful and beneficial “Virtuous Cycles”.
The Human animal is differentiated from other living creatures by the capacity of its brain. The reasoning, the logical grey matter, and the brain together make a machine which when “Focuses” on something, does wonder.
Apart from this, we human beings seek pleasures, especially the pleasures of the flesh. Imagine what will happen if life were a holiday, where all one does is have fun, sleep, eat and stuff. The consequences most probably would be softer human beings both in body and mind. On the other hand, if there are hardships it will make the individuals stronger-willed. In other words, physically and financially “FIT” people are essentially “strong” and “hardy” individuals.
- FAT to FIT – a lot more changes than just the shape!
A pattern which has been observed when people are fighting the “Battle of Bulge” is the “self-correcting behavior”. It sets in when they start making earnest efforts. It is only when they sweat it out in the “Gym” or are straining their knees running to lose weight; most of them also start improving their eating choices. Only when they realize how difficult it is to “loose” (probably one of the few Human possessions which are tough and desired to be lost) do they start getting even tougher on themselves and approach “food” with a very different consciousness.
Now the best part is that with the passage of time when the results continually improve along with endurance, so do the other aspects. A direct correlation has been found that when people moderate alcohol intake, reduce/quit smoking, they also continually make better choices to eat. Hence one habit, which is painful and difficult to acquire, which is to engage in physical activities, makes people gain “consciousness” and makes them make better choices in other related fields.
- Gaining Wealth is equally tough
Losing weight is as difficult as gaining wealth. Sustaining the habit over a period is even more challenging because the temptations are too many.
There are similar positive changes when people start “Focusing” on “Savings & Investments” as compared to “Consumption & Spending”. The enhanced consciousness makes people work on personal finances in an “enlightened” manner.
When people start “Saving” money they essentially undergo a “Pain” period. Savings implies foregoing immediate gratification and undergoing the pain of saying “No” to pleasures of consumption. One would always place “Savings” over “Investments”. If “Investments” are the Building then “Savings” are the Foundation. Only once we start to save, investing mindset will follow.
When people “REALLY” start to save, their brains undergo “Re-wiring”. The earlier mental comfort zone was “consumption” and it was drawing enjoyment from buying/possessing/spending. Once the habit of savings starts deepening its roots, the mental comfort zone shifts & the people can see their financial reserves grow. They are also now able to feel more empowered and confident which is stemming from one’s better “Financial Control”.
But the road to reach that stage is long and tedious.
There have been studies which have exhibited surprising changes and development of self-confidence in these people who force themselves to “Save” money. These individuals develop a different outlook and expand their approach towards being able to relate to money more “responsibly”. They are no more brand conscious, these individuals buy “comforts/conveniences” instead of “luxuries”. These people lead a leverage (debt) free life and hence tremendously increase their life expectancy. The pressure to conform to the “peer pressure” of consumption patterns is almost absent in these people.
- Characteristics of a Smart Investor
The next very natural step is that these people usually evolve into smart investors. The “Saving” rewiring and mindset makes these people view “money” very differently. Also, most of the times these people educate themselves on the basics of finance i.e. accounting, interest rates, compounding, leverage, and taxation. Now, this is not to say that these individuals do not commit “investing” errors as “investment errors” are unavoidable in a long investment career. But these people are now able to develop the “acumen” to understand the reason/s for such errors, do the course-correction and continue to improve their investment methods to reap superior benefits.
Overall people who force themselves to “Save” and then “Invest” money bring about positive changes in the overall well-being of their lives. It is one life and they make it fulfilling and enriched by the strength of their brains, to say “No” to temptations.
Say no “Splurging” and “Instant” and say yes to “Saving” and “Investments”. Save your way to health, wealth and happiness.