“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence.
In fact, it is considered by some as part of one of the most well-crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language.
These three aspects are listed among the inseparable rights of man.
Despite this, as I suppose, it would perplex a visitor from Mars whether we human beings really want what we say we want – life, liberty, and happiness.
This is especially true if the Martian were to drop somewhere on our stock markets, and examines the behavior of investors, speculators, analysts, and fund managers.
He would no doubt question the intelligence of the planet’s inhabitants, and would wonder…
“Do these guys really want life, liberty, and happiness…the rights they have been wanting for ages? They seem to be hell-bent on destroying themselves through their foolish actions! Is this the way the entire humanity works? If yes, I must thank my stars for being a Martian and not a human!”
These thoughts of the Martian are a fact, my dear friend. For the way people behave when it comes to handling money – own or someone else’s – things really look murky (and funny, when it’s not your money).
Theory of Death-Instinct
The famous Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, formulated what is known as the ‘theory of death instinct’.
As per this theory, there is some great impulse towards destruction that dominates all of us. At heart, we all want to die (emotionally and physically).
What else justifies the way most of us ill-treat our relationships, health, and wealth?
We all wish to live forever, but that’s a wish we don’t care about as seen from the little care we take of our bodies.
We all wish to get rich one day, but again, that’s a wish we rarely care about as seen from the way we treat the money we spend years to earn.
As investors, we are more driven by greed and fear than the pursuit of sensible ways of growing our wealth over the long term.
Most of us run after short term gains, and are willing to sacrifice our intelligence and independence to earn them.
So whether it is believing a biased and senseless investing advice on business channels, or blindly following the financial advisor recommending a ‘double your money’ stock, we are least bothered about the risks we are taking (or our self-destruction of wealth) and most bothered about the returns that we can earn from such advice.
It has never worked this way. The long history of stock markets is a proof that every time investors have gotten greedy, they have ended up digging their own grave.
But we never seem to learn from history. The ‘next hot stock’ always seems more beautiful and gives us a greater hope than the ‘last dud stock’ (which was once a ‘next hot stock’).
We always remain in the pursuit of a better life, greater liberty, more happiness, and larger wealth…but at the same time, we are also always busy destroying our future.
See, it’s difficult to get off from this vicious cycle. But I won’t say that it is impossible.
You just need to stop, and think what you are doing and why you are doing it.
As an investor, ask yourself, “Why am I investing, and what am I investing in?”
If the answer to the second question makes you uncomfortable, stop and think whether you are really willing to take the next step.
Most investors don’t think for a second what they are getting into. They are blinded by greed to earn fast money, and this is what destroys their financial future.
You see, investing is about ‘your’ life. It is about you being able to live the way you want to live – liberated, and happy.
So invest with a firm view of achieving these goals. Of course, your aim must also be to get rich in the process, but what is the use of riches if not to liberate you and make you happy?
Got it? Now go for it. Your bright future starts right here, right now.