My family and I just returned from an incredible experience in Greece and Turkey. It was the first real international experience for my kids (Finn – 14 years old and Ella – 7 years old). Greece felt comfortable. Everyone spoke at least some English, the street signs and menus had English, and the food was familiar. Turkey, on the other hand, felt foreign. Many women wore burqas, there were five calls to prayer over loudspeakers every day (including pre-dawn), and we ate many unfamiliar foods.
We are all shaped by our experience and influenced by those around us. My family and I grew the most while in Turkey. We grew by putting ourselves in an uncomfortable position and creating experiences for ourselves we would never have in the U.S. The discomfort caused me to think about how my views would differ had I been born in a different country or in a different era. We cannot control where or when we are born, but we can be aware of how they influence our thoughts and feelings.
Much like traveling to a place you have never been, you may also be uncomfortable with investing in stocks or the recent market correction. To grow, whether it is as a person or an investment portfolio, you have to get a little uncomfortable.
The highlight of the trip for me was touring Cappadocia, in central Turkey where early Christians dug caves into the cliff walls for their homes, churches, and schools. Their ingenuity, hard work, and art (see below) are incredible. The signs were in Turkish, fewer people spoke English, and it was hard to know the different purposes for each cave. We could not have had the experience without our guide, Alex. He had the ability to make everything seem easy, fun, and interesting.
Some clients with investable cash have told Jay and me that they will invest when they are “more comfortable.” The NASDAQ index is up over 20% from its recent lows. Embracing the uncomfortable would have resulted in them having 20% more money.
Buying businesses with established business models (i.e. profits over a number of years) might provide the little push out of your comfort zone you need. You do not have to speculate in crypto, NFTs (if you do not know what NFTs are, you certainly should not buy them), or any other emerging opportunity. A diversified portfolio of well-established businesses will result in growth over time, both in you and in your portfolio, to help you achieve your goals. If you or someone you care about feels uncomfortable about the stock market, we can guide you.