Timing vs ‘Time In’
“I heard that the market is so uncertain right now, is it really a good time to buy?’
Here’s what I say to that…
Being obsessed with timing and the market conditions is dumb – it’s just another manifestation of your fear, so get over it and stop being a pussy. ‘Nuff said?
Is timing important then?
In personal finance, a higher degree of risk is generally acceptable, the longer your investment horizon is. On that basis, I’d be inclined to suggest that focusing on ‘time in’ rather than ‘timing’ is critical. The longer your horizon is, the higher your risk tolerance should be and therefore uncertainty becomes in sense, acceptable – so over the longer term if you want a good result, you may have to make decisions in uncertain situations – make sense?
In light of that, let’s talk about what you should be doing today:
- Focus on the now: Goals are great, but getting started is critical. If you’ve put some goals down and set a plan in place, now’s the time to forget it! There’s power in planning – some of the material essence of your plan will get into your bones and it will make you move towards it – you don’t force it into reality, it just becomes. By focussing on now, you turn your effort towards achievement – you’ve put it in Google maps, now start driving!
- Simulate the future world: If you’re looking to purchase a new, bigger home, then create an ‘artificial expense’ equal to what it will look like in the future. Save the difference between your current and new mortgage payments – feel the weight of what the new financial reality looks/feels like.
- Read your environment, and then ignore it. You don’t have to wait for the conditions to be perfect. The average couple may only 25 years of strong, dual income – that’s an extremely precious and rare resource. Any one of those 25 years spent waiting for conditions to be perfect is an absolute tragedy. Knowing your environment is good – you need to assess and manage your risks, but then when you’ve done that, just ignore it and move on. If you wait for the conditions to be perfect, you’ll never get anything done!
Google defines resonance as follows: “In physics, resonance is a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at specific frequencies.”
The best way I can describe financial resonance is as follows:
Think of the last time you went to the playground swing with your kids – you teach them to move their legs at the right time, to assist with the swinging on their own – done at the right time they can transfer their motion to the swing itself. You’re teaching your kids resonance: moving a part of their bodies in such a way as to create drive (shifting of their weight), to move another system, the swing, with greater amplitude. For the mathematically inclined, check out
In personal finance it’s all about shifting your weight, at the right time, to create an amplified force on something else.
Timing is critical to achieve success, and so is time in. It’s not the timing of the market however that’s so important, it’s your own timing that is. When do you stick your legs out and when do you pull them in?
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