You may think that the word “Zen” has little connection to financial planning, but we would ask you to think again. As finance expert Rob Russell writes for U.S. News, “Generally, we all want to find peace and happiness in life. In other words we deeply desire to find some Zen.” He goes on to add that finding Zen can mean different things to different people; the important thing is that you have some kind of desired outcome for you life and go beyond working to pay bills.
Russell offered some of his “favorite Zen investing lessons” including:
Be open to change
Some of us are so invested in the ‘tried and true’ thinking that we are being smart and practical that we court disaster by refusing to consider something different. Russell is not suggesting you ‘change for the sake of change’ but rather being willing to make changes to your investment strategy.
One of the ways that you know it is time to make a change is that you periodically examine your investments and investment strategy. A tactic to help avoid change is to park money somewhere and not touch it. This is where the help of a Fee-Only financial advisor is invaluable: you need someone with impartial judgment working on your behalf to highlight factors and market changes you may not have seen otherwise.
There is such a thing as too much thinking
Many of us pride ourselves on our ability to think and reason. With a 24-hour news cycle we have previously unheard of amounts of information available to us at all times. Yet, even with all of this information, we really cannot completely explain changes in the financial markets and some of us go crazy trying to figure it all out.
Russell writes, “Focusing on the why can lead to ruin, instead focus on the now, which is price.”