Years ago while dating, I encountered a particularly charming creature.
He was absolutely fascinating, charming and charismatic.
From the moment our eyes met across the crowded room, I was captivated.
Things moved quickly, my friend.
Over the next few days, he showered me with attention and affection that left me spinning.
Finally it seemed there was someone who truly understood me, and may have even been ‘the one’. (Keep in mind I had reached this conclusion within a couple of weeks of meeting him).
It all happened so fast.
My usual safety mechanisms reserved for the dating field never even came close to functioning.
I was swept up in his magnetic vortex.
Then, as suddenly as it had started, there was a deafening silence.
Despite my best efforts to contact him, I didn’t hear a thing.
No more phone calls, no more letters or cards in the mail, and definitely no sign of flowers being delivered.
After a week of this total rejection, I received a note that read: “Won’t be able to see you for a while. Need to put the brakes on. Take care. We might catch up in the future.”
Hmmmm… What in the heck happened there?
Well… he freaked himself out.
In a moment of clarity, his happy-go-lucky bachelor subconscious screamed at him: “Back off mate! At this rate she’ll be thinking about picket fences by next month!”
So, at the point of realisation he was in too deep, he decided to run like a frightened rabbit.
Either the sky was the limit for the relationship, or he needed to dump me - straight away.
I’ve seen many self-startler types begin investing.
They start with a whirlwind of activity, attend exciting courses, read all the books they can get their hands on and generally begin a love affair with investing.
To begin with, they buy a bucket-load of properties in quick succession, and leverage themselves up to the hilt.
They tell every person in their life about how they will retire from their jobs, become a self-made millionaire and live a life of comfort.
This can now go one of two ways.
The self-startler could end up going onto steady investing greatness.
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It’s possible they will learn the secrets of effective investing, and ultimately calm down their manic learning curve, and develop a profitable method in a steady and predictable way.
Alternatively, as I have seen so many times in the past, they burn themselves out and blow up their accounts in a blaze of glory.
Brief, yet spectacular.
Generally, downright terrifying to watch.
The signs of a potential self-startler can be very disturbing to loved ones and spouses.
I was recently sent an email by the wife of a new trader which simply stated:
“Help me! I don’t even know my husband any more. He’s discovered trading, and this is much more attractive to him than I will ever be. He’s up half the night trading the US market and has quit his job to trade the Australian market. What can I do?”
Living with someone who is walking on the razors edge is never a positive experience.
Success in investing is a terrific goal, but it is worthless if the rest of your life is in shambles.
The most successful people in any endeavour tend to have a high level of self-awareness.
This is true of profitable traders and property investors as well.
Most good investors have achieved a level of balance in their lives.
They value their health, their personal lives and often their spiritual lives.
Reading between the lines of Market Wizards by Jack Schwager, the majority of superior traders have attained a healthy balance in their lives.
Occasionally an obsessed, power-hungry person will become a good trader—but these people are the exception rather than the rule.
The same goes for property investors
Initially, you may find that learning about the property market is occupying your every waking moment.
Over time this feeling should dissipate.
Outstanding investors spend time taking their dog for a walk in the park, they volunteer for tuck-shop duty at their kids’ school, and they often help their community by giving money to charity.
They look after their health and their families, as well as their wealth.
Developing mastery over your own mind-set, and maintaining a balance in your life is just as much a contributor to your investing success as developing appropriate strategies.