An Antithesis of an Investor Mindset

in LeoFinance10 months ago

Be literate, patient and consistent.

This came up in a comment today from @russia-btc on my last post looking at some trading behaviors we tend to have. And I replied:

These are words to live by. I feel that culture today conditions us to not dive deep into the topics that impact us the most, while supporting instant gratification activities and jumping from one thing to the next. Current society is the anti-thesis of an investment mindset.

Also, a couple hours later, at least part of this came up in regards to my daughter, and we used it as a lesson for her to start thinking about for the future, I hope.

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We were sitting at the dining table and my wife saw some swans fly over through the window and commented on it. Smallsteps wanted to see and ran to the window, but of course it was too late and she got upset, saying "I never get to see...", which is untrue. However, I brought up the concept of FOMO and how we are always going to miss out from time to time, so we have to get used to it.

My wife then told a story about how when she was young, she had a favorite show to watch and had been waiting for a long time to see it. However, when it was time to watch, the TV (which was old and black and white only), only had snow on it - the fuzzy black and white static. She missed the show and without the ability to record or stream, it was effectively gone forever, she would never see it.

Smallsteps is nearing seven years of age and we have been actively teaching her passively, if that makes sense. We don't give her lessons as lessons, but like all parents, we use the examples of life to highlight points. Since she is quite language adept and inquisitive, we have been able to dive in quite deeply from a young age.


Being literate is more than just being able to read the newspaper, it is about being able to read the situation on a topic, which means being able to understand what is going on and hopefully, act appropriately. And the "act appropriately" requires knowing where one is and what the target for the future might be. Knowing stuff is only useful when that "stuff" is applied to meet a goal.

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Financial literacy isn't taught well in schools, even when they try and teach it and probably, by the time they start teaching things that are important, the foundational skills aren't developed enough to be able to really understand them. I believe that some of the fundamental skills we require to navigate this world well, are learned when we are children and if we don't learn them, it is very hard to pick them up later, because it first requires breaking lifelong cultural patterns.

For instance, understanding financial products like credit cards and loans is one thing, but without the behaviors that enable solid budgeting, saving and investing, it is likely going to lead most of us further into trouble - into unmanageable debt. and "debt management" in and of itself is an area that requires literacy, because while debt on some things like a house might be unavoidable, having the skill to manage the debt profile and the personal process to keep it under control takes learning and practice. Theory means little if it can't be practically applied to circumstances.

In order for us to address the situations of our world and build ourselves toward where we might want to be, we need to understand our world and understand how we behave in it. We need to know what affects us and what we can affect, and while we can't control everything, be able to control what we can, how we can, to best meet the challenge of life, whether it be financially - or in any other aspect that is important to us.


As I mentioned in my reply, I believe we have been pushed into a world of instant gratification, while not understanding much below the surface of what affects us. It is an attention economy and as such, the incentive is there to compete for our attention, to draw us into a frame and hold us as consumers, spending our time, money and energy on something that drives a profit model.

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However, none of this need actually befit us. Instead, our consumption is largely a net negative to us, because everything has an opportunity cost and takes our resources away from something else that might be more valuable, but less shiny. And, because of the way we are hardwired and conditioned to interact, we want to be the first with the "new", so we will naturally jump from one topic or process to the next, just to be first.

Remember when people would say "first" on new message board threads? That is because they thought it was valuable to be so. However, being first is useless if being there with no way to take advantage of the first position. Knowing about the best investment opportunity early has no value, if there is nothing to put into it.

And, this is affected by our patience too, because in order to have something to put in, we have to have saved some of our resources. But, in a world powered by instant gratification, the opportunity to save and generate are taken away in favor of spending to be first, even though when buying something, we are never actually first - we are just the early adopters at the consumer level.

Patience takes self-awareness in order to understand our behavior under various conditions so we can mitigate risks and exploit our strengths. It also requires some ability to take different perspectives, where we can think through alternative paths and possibilities to get to where we want to be. On top of this, we have to have flexibility when things don't go to plan and often, have to fight our emotional state where our fears arise, even though our logic knows better.

Many think patience is the ability to wait, but it isn't quite that. Patience is an active process and in order to be good at it, we have to have developed a cluster of other skills so that we are able to "wait". For illustration, it is like a sniper who has years of training and honed technical, physical and mental skills, just to wait for days in poor conditions, so they can align a shot on their target, pull the trigger and squeeze. Years of work, for a moment of action. That might not be the most beautiful example, but you can perhaps picture how active patience can be, and the impact it makes when it is time to move.


A lot of people seem to struggle with the last one, because while they know what they should do and might even have the patience to build, they don't necessarily do what it takes often enough to make an impact on their longer term plans. It is like saving a dollar a month for a house deposit, it isn't enough. Instead, what needs to happen is that enough investment is made in order to get the returns and acting consistently is that investing capital. However, there is obvious caveats, because consistently acting poorly is unlikely to get us to where we need to be.

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So, in order to have consistency, we likely need to build the skills and conditions that help us along the path. For instance, knowing what we want to accomplish and setting goals for something is a good direction to start with, but we also have to act toward the journey, we need to take the steps. Identifying the steps we need to take helps us, and these might not just be actions working toward, but also skill building and potentially dealing with our own emotional weaknesses.

It can be uncomfortable to do "the right thing" to achieve where we want to be, so more self-awareness is needed, as well as a willingness to be uncomfortable and possibly, experience various types of pain. In an instant gratification world, we avoid pain and maximize pleasure, even if it brings more suffering down the road and leaves us in a far worse of position. And, this is also why it is important to be flexible again, because while we can set our goals and even change our behaviors, the dynamics are also always changing, so we have to be able to read the situation (literacy) and take a step back (patience) to observe and redirect our course, possibly learning more along the way.

And through a practice of all of these things and the many failures we will have along the way, we will start to build our self-discipline, not to be a rigid robot, but like water, being able to shift into the forms we need to take that are appropriate for where we want to go. It doesn't happen instantly, but when we are literate and spending our attention in the right areas, we are likely to consistently be first movers too, because we are taking in the conditions and are better suited to predict the future trends.


Current society is the anti-thesis of an investment mindset.

The current culture, economic climate and social interaction, is not conducive to being well invested in our lives. Instead, it conditions us to be consumers, eternal renters, chasers - never settled, always suffering, constantly under pressure to act, but not knowing how or what to do so we are acting well. From a very young age, the consumer mindset is encouraged and the fundamentals barely have their surface scratched, let alone developed into strengths.

Most of us reading this have grown up understanding that we have had to learn a lot along the way that if we had learned as children, would have made our lives far easier. But, the younger generations are going to struggle even more, because they have not only grown up with a screen in their hand to stop them learning, but that same screen allows them to avoid the problems for longer. But inevitably, it will catch up with them, but will it be too late?

I believe that those who are willing to be uncomfortable and learn the fundamentals, will be the ones who are able to best take advantage of opportunity in the future, because they will read the situations better and have the resources built ready to use, when the time is right. They will do this many times in their lives failing sometimes but learning with each instance, to better inform themselves, hone their skills and always keep on advancing down the road. It will be even easier for them too, because looking at society today, there isn't going to be many who can compete at the top consistently.

Here we are.
But, which way are we headed?

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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Goodness knows where we are headed. I think the most important lessons, lessons in humility, grace and love, cannot be taught. I also think that far too much is crammed into our childrens minds long before they are ready to really understand it. I remember having to help each of my children memorize stuff that was way beyond their ken, and how frustrated they all got because they did not understand something. I explained that knowing when they did not understand was the most important learning they could do.

It was difficult for me to focus on your words, because the collection of photos is so fabulous! I got me some instant gratification from them.

lessons in humility, grace and love, cannot be taught.

Maybe they can't be taught, but they can be learned. I think that the conditions needed to learn them can be built.

I am not a fan of learning by memory - it isn't flexible and can rarely be applied by most people in the right way, at the right time.

And this is one of my favorite sets of her. It is from a few years ago obviously, but she had a ball playing!

The conditions to learn those things exist just going through life. But I agree that schools are the one place in life where those lessons are squelched. Obey the teachers no matter how wrong they are. Don't get openly angry at any classmate, no matter what horrible thing they have said to you. If you're not reading as well as the kid next to you, you are a failure. Squelch yourself at all costs. It's awful - I hate schooling now. It is nothing more than a great dumbing down in the US. Many students seem to thrive in schools, but those who don't are often gravely harmed psychologically, emotionally, and socially.

You have such a great eye!!! And smallsteps is a great subject for photos.

I think I learned this the hard way. I personally spent a lot using credit cards and taught that to next generation that using credit card unless it is emergency is not a good idea. I guess something like this we should have in the education system. It has to be passed down across the generations.

I don't think it is in the best interest to have a state teach financial wellbeing, because they actually benefit from keeping us financially repressed.

I agree that we are definitely not on the right investor mindset. The schools don't really teach you anything about financial education at all. I don't even think that many of them teach people about taxes and people only realize it after they start working for the first time. So in a way, I am unsure where we are headed at all. It's going to be a tough road but I do hope that the technology will help bridge the gap for people who don't understand it.

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What is interesting is that parents know about taxes and other things, but still expect the schools to teach their kids, even though the same schools taught them nothing.

The direction in which we are headed is not easy to guess given the times that run ... we hope at least to have taken the right one but in my part they say ... we will only find out by living.

But I have a certainty, Smallsteps has safe guides and I am convinced that when the time comes he will know which direction to choose and will do them consciously🤗

I am hoping that as she matures, she will find a good reference group of friends to help her along the way.

Do you think about these things yet and how you might approach them?

I confess that I think about these and a thousand other things; I think what awaits him in this strange crazy world; I think about what he will decide to do when he comes of age and I hope he will decide to go abroad (to study or to work it will be up to him to choose).

In short, I think all the time and about a thousand things, but I think it's normal.

It is normal and each day will have new challenges and new thoughts. I am pretty sure that what you have learned so far in your life has taught you a lot that will help, but you will learn a lot more!

Investment without knowledge is a failure, at least that's how I see it. I know people who invested at the expense of third parties and lost, either because those third parties cheated them or because those third parties didn't know what they were doing.

Like all parents, it is true that you have to teach by example, and I am sure that little Smallsteps is learning by leaps and bounds, she is of age and I imagine she also has a piggy bank. Smallsteps looks happy and that is a sign of family harmony.

either because those third parties cheated them or because those third parties didn't know what they were doing.

A few years ago I got a call from one of those "invest with us" companies and when I asked them about crypto, they said "of course! - last year our crypto portfolio made a massive 20%!!"

This was after Bitcoin went about 20x :D

I worry she is going to pick up all my bad habits...

I think another way to be consistent is ny loving what you do. Whenever you do the things that you love, you will not find it hard to continue to do those things...

At the same time, financial literacy is needed and cannot be taught in the classroom. Parents can help to teach their children but do you think financial literacy can be taught in the class?

I think that if people truly loved what they did, they would be working far harder than they are. Doing what you love is very difficult - not easy.

I think that screen makes them to emulate so-called social media phenomenons and thus keeps them away from the facts of life.

The facts of life and the skills of life. I think many are in for pain, but they will think it is normal, because all their peers are suffering too.

I feel sorry for them when see stupid videos from them.

I think that it’s crucial to teach the kids the mindset early for investing and trying to manage money well. The little man has inquired about getting himself a little credit card and I am absolutely against it for the basic reason that he hasn’t learned money management skills yet in order to properly balance a credit card amount on our side. My wife settled and got him a little gift card but I told him, her as well, that for his age cash is a far better way to manage money and learn about it because you know you have 5$ in your hand and the item you are looking at is 6.75 so you can’t afford it. With a credit card, those limits are largely gone and not a very good tool to teach financial literacy.

I know that it’s going to eventually come to be but I am trying to hold it off a few more years. He’s a really smart kid and does well with a lot of things but I want him to learn the proper basics, one of the things he struggles with the most. He wants to ride the bicycle at full speed instead of going slowly and yes it does work with momentum but then you don’t learn how to manage the corners and all that. Calling happens and hurts but maybe I prefer falling at a slower speed and getting some footing underneath me before advancing. He is not that way and it’s hard lol. Lots of little arguments!

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I completely agree with the cash idea. Having "real" money means that you can see it come and go and once in hand, it is harder to let go of. It becomes yours. The cards don't do this, digital shopping is even more removed from ownership - it is no wonder there is mounting debt.

For reference, you are screwed, because you have a boy! They are insane. However, I have the opposite issue with Smallsteps, where she is a little too concerned with things - a little too safe. It is good in some ways, but will become a detriment later in life unless she can learn to balance and evaluate well.

Theory means little if it can't be practically applied to circumstances.

I love the fact that you make use of practical(experience had) to explain things to Smallsteps which is beautiful.

There are lots of theoretical things we never get to practice in school but the outside world makes experience the best teacher.

Also, being patient means a lot as it helps with our flexibility just like you said.

In a world where being first feels like a trophy to many, it is strange just to be the first to arrive either than being the first to take charge.

it is strange just to be the first to arrive either than being the first to take charge.

People don't want the responsibility, or risk the consequences of actually being first. First to be judged. First to be blamed. First to be punished.

Hehe... Well, they are missing out on the first stuff. That is legendary.

Life is hard if you only do what is easy. Life is easy if you make hard decisions.

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Precisely. Make the hard decisions early, life can be far easier later.

As parents, we can't tell what the future holds, neither can we make water tight plans to secure our children's future. However, it does seem that you're equipping your daughter with the right skills so that she can take advantage of whichever path she decides to embark on later in life. That's just about all parents can do.

We can't predict exactly what they will face, but since economics is part of life and always has been (even before money), the lessons learned will likely help in many areas of life. I think we are leaving our kids skill-bare these days - instead relying on tools to do the job that we had to learn to do ourselves.

What people don't seem to recognize is that yes, a calculator can do math, but the changes and structures in the brain to be able to calculate in the head, do more than calculate numbers.

My parents never directly taught me about budgeting, but each week I watched them carve out the time to sit and pay the bills together before we would all go to the bank and then out for dinner. It showed me the importance of having a system.

This is something I never saw my parents do. They were financially illiterate, spending far too much on far too little. There was always the sense of not enough money and it was mentioned often, but not talked about why. I am hoping not to give Smallsteps the same lessons.

That's actually funny because my parents also mentioned how there was so little money and still do to this day, when really they are fine and we always had everything we needed and some of what we wanted.

Ah....the joys and perils of being a parent. Seems like I am always going oft-topic, but do you feel you are more reflective now that you are a parent? I know you have been through quite a bit since Smallsteps was born, so there might be more factors in play.

I personally have always planned for the future, not detailed plans, but like where I would like to be and how much money I would like to have. But recently, my plans have been more detailed, largely revolving around my daughter and having enough money for University, money to help her get her first home etc.

but do you feel you are more reflective now that you are a parent?

Definitely, but I was pretty reflective before. What has been highlighted and enhanced is that I probably have more fears about the future, because I feel that I can handle myself, but I now have to help someone else handle it too. It is a challenge.

So many parents take the "it will all work out" path, which I think is driven by their own desire for their own desires to be met. A lot of the young now are suffering because of it.

What has been highlighted and enhanced is that I probably have more fears about the future, because I feel that I can handle myself, but I now have to help someone else handle it too.

This is very true. I always think back when I was single and not have to worry about the impact of my actions and I had more control, as I was only had to worry about my needs. I mentioned before, I can live of bread and butter, but my family can't or rather I won't want them to. So there in lies the struggle.

There is this Chinese saying that 船到橋頭自然直 meaning that "We'll cross the bridge when we get there". And depending on your personality, can be interpreted two ways. I like to think I am a fairly optimistic person and that things will eventually work out. We just have to go with the flow and accept that the outcome may not be what you expected and that doesn't mean the outcome is going to be worse.

There are so many things to worry about if you let yourself go down that path. Ignorance in this day and age can be indeed be bliss.

Being patient, even when the expected outcome does not appear is the most difficult part. We are trained to perform actions to get a result, better if immediate, predictable and positive.

Sometimes results are negative for a moment, turning positive thereafter. So, like you said, being patient when performing an action, being patient when waiting for the result and then, being patient if the result is not the expected one will lead to consistency over time and probably better results as well

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The first time they quote me - very nice!
But it won't work for 99% of people until they burn themselves 1000 times - you have to experience 1000 emotions from delight to complete disappointment before you learn to control yourself and not give in to Fomo / wait for a good entry position for several weeks when the market is flying up a gigantic difficult task (it's like two different people are fighting inside you)
"Greed is a sign of poverty" don't forget about it!

Consistency indeed is the best key

Remember when people would say "first" on new message board threads?

Still happens on Reddit threads.

because they have not only grown up with a screen in their hand to stop them learning

This is the one that makes me worry. Even in Japan, kids now are given a device to bring home and use for homework/study. It's always there now. As parents we can limit exposure, but it is always there, and will be more so as we gradually lose the ability to control their environment.

Screen in their hand.

I was reading from a teacher who wrote a FB post (I know I know.... I do still check there sometimes because of family on there) and she was writing that she saw ChatGPT as a tool to teach our kids. While I agree with that approach, I also see that as a very tricky game. Teach it in the wrong way, and they will start to rely on it, in the same way that many now rely on calculators, and will never learn the fundamental skills.


Anyway, I like all that you wrote in this post.

The FOMO situation is so prominent these days - probably due to all the stuff we see on social media. Also agree that society is somewhat conditioning us to be consumers, perhaps that's the (only) way to keep the economies going.

Be literate, patient and consistent.

The first one is my favorite, I love to learn about a whole host of things. But gosh, I am quite miserable at the other two. I completely lack patience - I am an awful poker player! I might know the odds, but I hate having to wait, so ultimately I typically just get my chips in on a few coinflip pocket pairs and see how things go.

Consistency is the one that I am currently working on the most though. I think it is the one I have the most control over in the present and will ultimately provide the best return over time. I marvel at your consistency in writing these articles on Hive. I can barely make it a few weeks getting just my brawl reports out on schedule and they happen once every five days. Shoot, I don't even manage to read and comment on your articles on a daily basis, let alone come up with original content of my own.

But then again, I also give myself too many excuses to get myself off the hook. I really need to be more proactive with creating a publishing schedule and sticking to it. My discipline has never been great and I've just cruised through life leaning on my skills rather than my determination. I'm just so dang distractable these days, so I look to blame all types of things (too many tabs open, too many odd jobs, too many random responsibilities). But ultimately, it comes down to making and prioritizing my time and this is a lesson I am learning slowly but surely. It has just taken far longer than I hoped since I had such a late start. But it is getting better...