Cherish your own emotions and never undervalue them – Robert Henri (1865-1929)
Politics, Economics and Personal Emotion. How do these areas affect my financial plan? What if Donald Trump becomes president? How does the Brexit result figure into my investments? What if the Canadian Dollar goes down further? Risk scares me but GIC rates are so low right now!
I created a program called ‘Fun with Finances’ that I used to present to grade 11 and 12 students at a high school near my home. One of the learning outcomes I wanted to accomplish was to see what we can control when making financial decisions. I called it the P.E.P principle. [On a side note, I tried eating a Cadbury PEP mint chocolate a few times as a kid so I contacted Cadbury’s to see if I could use a picture of the chocolate for a chapter in my first book, Financial Fotographs, but at that time they were discontinuing making the PEP ‘circle’ so I guess it is back to ‘After Eights’ for that mint and chocolate craving but the acronym still works.]
As a self-proclaimed ‘political junkie’ I always enjoy the theater behind the political campaigns especially this time around with the American Election and the Brexit vote. I may not always agree with the outcomes but I respect the democratic system. I have always believed that your vote is your ticket to be allowed to ‘complain’ about the outcome of a particular vote.
Another strong belief I have is that in the P.E.P. principle you have a minimal personal effect with politics and economics but almost total control with your personal emotion. So let’s explore all three letters of the acronym.
Depending on whether the political party of the day is left of center, center, or right of center (or between) of the political spectrum it will present different policies both within a particular country and with relationships with other countries. Government rules and regulations can affect decisions that you make to create your desired standard of living. Therefore, whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes the 45th US President, the policies and decisions that they will go ahead with could affect your financial plan and investment portfolios in different ways, good or bad, depending on your view and the view that the stock market has.
Monetary policy, tax systems, interest rate policy, lending rules and credit rules can all affect how our investments react within Canada. These same themes can affect other countries around the world you may have investments in. You may have heard the saying ‘buy the rumour and sell the news’. This means you anticipate a decision you have to make based on rumours and the news that you know. Once the ‘truth’ comes out another decision needs to be made. If you follow the financial news you will see analysts predicting what an investment might due before a report is issued and then how the ‘market’ reacted given the news that was released.
The world runs 24/7 with access to information being the easiest it has ever been. The only problem with this is determining what is true and what is false and how the information you find affects the decisions that you have to make. Decisions on your financial plan and your risk within your investment portfolio are highly dependent on your personal emotion. Your emotions may keep you away from making important decisions that need to be made or keep you away from making decisions that you may have seen friends and family fail at before. Whether it is finding out what risk you would like to take within your investment portfolio, a house you would like to buy, or deciding when you would like to retire. Your emotional state will make a big impact on what you do. Becoming more financial literate will be a tremendous asset going forward but not everyone has the time or interest in doing this.
This is where a financial planner and money manager could become an excellent resource. It is becoming more common for people to hire a life coach to help with life decisions but I would argue having a financial planner and money manager on your side will assist you with making decisions with what you can’t control and add constructive advice when it comes to your personal emotion.
So before you have to make any decisions when it comes to life and your financial plan, take a moment and see how the P.E.P. principle will affect your thinking process. And make sure that you never undervalue your personal emotions.
Finding passion from personal finance
Over the past year I have found a passion for cooking so I wanted to combine the passion of helping people with money and cooking chicken. Therefore, my blog ‘Don’t be Chicken With Your Money - Be Smart’ was born. I encourage you to connect with me and give me your thoughts and opinions on the information I present. I have to admit that I am more ‘money’ expert than ‘cooking’ expert.
Greenrock Cobb Salad
I sliced boneless chicken breasts and cooked them in the oven for 40 minutes @ 400F and turned the pieces over at 25 minutes. After cutting the pieces up, I added basil seasoning to the top side before I put the cooking tray into the oven. The natural juices from the chicken provided a nice coating for the cooking process. At the same time, I boiled water to cook the Canadian Harvest brown eggs to hard boil, drained the water and filled up with cold water to cool. It takes 8-10 minutes to hard boil the eggs to my liking. I also cooked the Maple Lodge Farms Chicken Bacon at thist time. The salad consisted of: Lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, green onion and blueberries since they are in season. I tossed the salad with Renée’s Gourmet Poppy Seed Salad Dressing for a few minutes to make sure that the dressing touched every piece of the salad. To prepare the plate, I covered the salad with pieces of chicken, cheese and bacon and then added additional blueberries and Poppy Seed salad dressing. The only thing that was missing this time was a nice glass of wine to go along with the meal.