Is Fear Dictating Your Decisions?

By Joel Rybachuk

Since the beginning of time people have been locking themselves in a prison of their own making.

 
 

We see it daily in the finance industry and in our everyday lives. FEAR! If you let it, fear has the ability to paralyze you and make an otherwise intelligent person look foolish.  For example, I am terrified of sharks. Why? Just look at one. They are man-eating, bone crushing killers that probably look for humans like me swimming in the ocean for a quick snack. For a long time I didn’t even want to go in the ocean because of my irrational fear of getting attacked by a shark. As it turns out, the chances of me getting attacked by a shark are about one in 3.7 million. I have a better chance of getting injured from an accident with my toilet or dying from the flu. So I threw this irrational emotion out the window and jumped in. Since I decided that my fear of sharks was completely unreasonable, I have been able to enjoy a ton of activities including surfing, scuba diving, fishing and snorkeling.

Identifying my fear, and realizing it was an irrational mental block, allowed me to experience and learn new things I have come to love that I would have otherwise never explored. Distinguishing between what emotions should be ignored, and what emotions shouldn’t be, is just as important in investing as it is in our lives.  Of course it’s very hard to live by the stats; rather, we live by our emotions and often they can guide us in the wrong direction. 

That is why at the Tycuda Group we don’t let fear dictate our decisions, but let the statistics, discipline, and proven processes dictate our actions.  We wrote about how we invest with a process rather than emotion in a previous blog. This process has really proved to be effective in eliminating emotions, such as fear and anxiety, from our investing. This makes us very comfortable addressing any questions or concerns our clients and prospects have with the volatility in the market. It assures them that we are not making irrational moves with their hard-earned savings. Win-Win.

Depending upon the situation, fear can be a good or bad thing. Fear in a life threatening situation is very reasonable. Unreasonable fear masks logic and can be very good at fooling you. Whenever we are faced with fear we need to ask ourselves: is this is a reasonable or an unreasonable fear? We have to take the time to understand our fears to determine ones should be ignored and which should be acted on. In many aspects of life we will experience fear, but the true test is how we choose to confront those fears and turn them into an advantage for greater success and happiness.