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Invest Rationally

Posted By: Randy GageApril 9, 2013

A friend emailed to ask my opinion of an investment he’s considering.   Right away I knew he was in trouble, because he was talking about how the technology could make the world a better place, how it could undermine the evil oil companies, it was a good cause, etc.  Nothing about fiscal criteria. 

Here’s what I told him and my advice for you as well…

Make your investments based on their ability to make a return for you.   Give money to causes that will save the world. 

If they sometimes intersect, that’s wonderful.  But don’t make investments clouded by emotion, because you think it’s a good cause.  That’s how you go broke.  And when you’re broke, you can’t help anyone and end up needing help yourself.

-RG

22 comments on “Invest Rationally”

  1. Hi RG,
    Aha, I see. Investment = Individual Return. As Individual Return increases, give to worthwhile causes. Have you read any books by legendary trader Jesse Livermore? Awesome pieces about removing emotions from the investing or trading professions. Reminds me of your message here.
    Saving the world carries some baggage with it. Make the dough, do what billionaires do, then give to philanthropy. This seems to make the most sense because once you invest your strong, often-times negative emotions - because hey, who needs saving? (someone or something in trouble - low energy place) - into some investment, negative outcomes arise.
    Thanks RG,
    Ryan

  2. million dollar Yes making the world a better place brings value to you in return.  But that is not always means it is a good financial investment.  -RG

  3. RyanKBiddulph That sounds a little shallow and self serving.  Throwing money at problems or people in trouble isn't always the best answer.  Sometimes the most help you give someone is your time and love.  People who are in trouble or something in trouble doesn't mean it is coming from a low energy place or will bring you there.  IT may bring you to a higher energy level.  And, sometimes the people you help have more to offer than you can imagine. 
    OH, excuse me I Forgot where I was.  The world of the shallow and self serving.  NEVER MIND.  It won't sink in.

  4. Randy_Gage  I agree. Being a hippie rarely works.
    No person or business is perfect of course and mistakes happen, but there are some bad companies who care only about the bottom line and will do anything to make a profit, including using force and legally backed power.
    What if a company really is making shoddy products and treating people poorly? wouldn't investing in it because it gives you a return be enabling that behavior?
    Wouldn't you be profitting from someone putting lipstick on a pig or treating people like cattle?

  5. Randy_Gage Or maybe I'm just letting my emotions get the better of me.
    Would like an opinion please.

  6. ThomasMrak Randy_Gage I agree with you Thomas.  Maybe, Randy would relate more to putting foundation or eyeliner on a pig.

  7. In reading an article about Jim Pattison ( Canadian Billionaire based out of Vancouver ), he said take the emotion out of any business plan. It has to be cold and rational. That kind of advice leapt out at me. Do what you enjoy but keep the emotion out of the business plan. You have to make money.

  8. Good advise. Furthermore no good will come from an investment to "undermine the evil xyz" 
    The alternative energy industry is as evil and as destructive as coal or oil ever was.

  9. Annieb RyanKBiddulph
    What is self serving? Everything we do is for ourselves. The most "altruistic" person, the most generous, does so ultimately for himself. The reward he seeks may be hidden behind several cultural layers yet it is always for one purpose and one only, ourselves. It takes a bit of honesty to admit it or even to see it, yet it is rather obvious once you think about it.Even your attempt at converting others to your way of thinking is part of a reward seeking missionary expedition in this shallow and self serving underworld destined for hell.

  10. ThomasMrak Randy_Gage 
    I think that if there is a market for pig's lipstick and the margin is good, I am in it  :))

  11. 1Marc ThomasMrak Randy_Gage 
    I could have written my post with less emotion, and I apologize.
    There probably is a market for that.

  12. 1Marc Annieb RyanKBiddulph Hmm.... Never said anything about hell.  Yes, I would agree we all have reasons that benefit ourselves in everything we do.  My point is that helping others can benefit you in ways you may not think of.  And, yes I still think it is shallow to think that people in trouble have only something negative to offer.  To ignore someone in need because you think there is no way it could help you is only thinking about serving yourself.  Many times in serving others it is ourselves that end up benefiting the most.
    I'm not sure you were really reading what I wrote.

  13. Annieb 1Marc RyanKBiddulph "OH, excuse me I Forgot where I was.  The world of the shallow and self serving.  NEVER MIND.  It won't sink in. " (end quote)
    Yes, I know, the popular belief is that helping yourself is "bad" and helping others is "good".
    I challenge that value judgment. I did read your post and when it is true that the value judgement is disguised it is still there. Not your fault, mind you, it is part of the overall idea discussed at great length in other post.
    To improve yourself, to prosper is "shallow and self serving". To help others is altruistic and generous. No different from saying rich is evil and poor is virtuous.

  14. Annieb 1Marc RyanKBiddulph 
    PS
    However I was on a different line and you took me on a tangent. My point is simple. EVERYTHING EVERYONE does regardless of his convictions is purely for Him or Herself. That is a indisputable fact once you analyse beyond ethical cultural or religious beliefs.

  15. 1Marc Annieb RyanKBiddulph  1Marc don't take offense to that quote.  I was just venting my frustration.  
    Although, listen you said "the popular belief is that helping yourself is "bad" and helping others is "good".  I labored under that belief through my young adult years.  And, you are quite right, that can lead to misery.  But, here is what I have come to understand, and what I am writing about in my first comment.  You need to help yourself and then help others, we cannot be truly prosperous while others suffer.  Pursue wealth, and take care of yourself, that is not selfish.  However, pursuing only that which you believe will help you, is sometimes an illusory goal, especially if it entails forsaking others.  Prosperity only comes to those who are so filled with the grace of their own blessings, that they would give away what they have to those in need, and still feel blessed.

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  • 22 comments on “Invest Rationally”

    1. Hi RG,
      Aha, I see. Investment = Individual Return. As Individual Return increases, give to worthwhile causes. Have you read any books by legendary trader Jesse Livermore? Awesome pieces about removing emotions from the investing or trading professions. Reminds me of your message here.
      Saving the world carries some baggage with it. Make the dough, do what billionaires do, then give to philanthropy. This seems to make the most sense because once you invest your strong, often-times negative emotions - because hey, who needs saving? (someone or something in trouble - low energy place) - into some investment, negative outcomes arise.
      Thanks RG,
      Ryan

    2. million dollar Yes making the world a better place brings value to you in return.  But that is not always means it is a good financial investment.  -RG

    3. RyanKBiddulph That sounds a little shallow and self serving.  Throwing money at problems or people in trouble isn't always the best answer.  Sometimes the most help you give someone is your time and love.  People who are in trouble or something in trouble doesn't mean it is coming from a low energy place or will bring you there.  IT may bring you to a higher energy level.  And, sometimes the people you help have more to offer than you can imagine. 
      OH, excuse me I Forgot where I was.  The world of the shallow and self serving.  NEVER MIND.  It won't sink in.

    4. Randy_Gage  I agree. Being a hippie rarely works.
      No person or business is perfect of course and mistakes happen, but there are some bad companies who care only about the bottom line and will do anything to make a profit, including using force and legally backed power.
      What if a company really is making shoddy products and treating people poorly? wouldn't investing in it because it gives you a return be enabling that behavior?
      Wouldn't you be profitting from someone putting lipstick on a pig or treating people like cattle?

    5. Randy_Gage Or maybe I'm just letting my emotions get the better of me.
      Would like an opinion please.

    6. ThomasMrak Randy_Gage I agree with you Thomas.  Maybe, Randy would relate more to putting foundation or eyeliner on a pig.

    7. In reading an article about Jim Pattison ( Canadian Billionaire based out of Vancouver ), he said take the emotion out of any business plan. It has to be cold and rational. That kind of advice leapt out at me. Do what you enjoy but keep the emotion out of the business plan. You have to make money.

    8. Good advise. Furthermore no good will come from an investment to "undermine the evil xyz" 
      The alternative energy industry is as evil and as destructive as coal or oil ever was.

    9. Annieb RyanKBiddulph
      What is self serving? Everything we do is for ourselves. The most "altruistic" person, the most generous, does so ultimately for himself. The reward he seeks may be hidden behind several cultural layers yet it is always for one purpose and one only, ourselves. It takes a bit of honesty to admit it or even to see it, yet it is rather obvious once you think about it.Even your attempt at converting others to your way of thinking is part of a reward seeking missionary expedition in this shallow and self serving underworld destined for hell.

    10. ThomasMrak Randy_Gage 
      I think that if there is a market for pig's lipstick and the margin is good, I am in it  :))

    11. 1Marc ThomasMrak Randy_Gage 
      I could have written my post with less emotion, and I apologize.
      There probably is a market for that.

    12. 1Marc Annieb RyanKBiddulph Hmm.... Never said anything about hell.  Yes, I would agree we all have reasons that benefit ourselves in everything we do.  My point is that helping others can benefit you in ways you may not think of.  And, yes I still think it is shallow to think that people in trouble have only something negative to offer.  To ignore someone in need because you think there is no way it could help you is only thinking about serving yourself.  Many times in serving others it is ourselves that end up benefiting the most.
      I'm not sure you were really reading what I wrote.

    13. Annieb 1Marc RyanKBiddulph "OH, excuse me I Forgot where I was.  The world of the shallow and self serving.  NEVER MIND.  It won't sink in. " (end quote)
      Yes, I know, the popular belief is that helping yourself is "bad" and helping others is "good".
      I challenge that value judgment. I did read your post and when it is true that the value judgement is disguised it is still there. Not your fault, mind you, it is part of the overall idea discussed at great length in other post.
      To improve yourself, to prosper is "shallow and self serving". To help others is altruistic and generous. No different from saying rich is evil and poor is virtuous.

    14. Annieb 1Marc RyanKBiddulph 
      PS
      However I was on a different line and you took me on a tangent. My point is simple. EVERYTHING EVERYONE does regardless of his convictions is purely for Him or Herself. That is a indisputable fact once you analyse beyond ethical cultural or religious beliefs.

    15. 1Marc Annieb RyanKBiddulph  1Marc don't take offense to that quote.  I was just venting my frustration.  
      Although, listen you said "the popular belief is that helping yourself is "bad" and helping others is "good".  I labored under that belief through my young adult years.  And, you are quite right, that can lead to misery.  But, here is what I have come to understand, and what I am writing about in my first comment.  You need to help yourself and then help others, we cannot be truly prosperous while others suffer.  Pursue wealth, and take care of yourself, that is not selfish.  However, pursuing only that which you believe will help you, is sometimes an illusory goal, especially if it entails forsaking others.  Prosperity only comes to those who are so filled with the grace of their own blessings, that they would give away what they have to those in need, and still feel blessed.

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