Investment Resolutions for a Year of Anxiety and Unknowns

Happy Shiny New 2017! I’m back from my holiday in India visiting family and friends.

Shockingly, in almost 2 weeks on the ground – I bought no jewelry whatsoever. Usually a trip to India sees me unable to resist bangles bought off hawkers on the pavement or earrings from handicraft stores.

India is in the middle of a cash squeeze… in late November to battle “black” or untaxed money the government banned notes that were most often hoarded illegally.

Millions of people are suffering long queues for cash and the lack of spare change makes it impossible to tip or buy small goods from the shopkeepers and entrepreneurs who make up the backbone of the economy.

Indian economic growth has been downgraded and basic trust in the cash printed by the government has fallen. I’ve managed to live in 3 countries all of which made significant political decisions in 2016 that are going to transform the financial landscape in 2017 – Brexit, Trump and rupee demonetisation…. High degrees of uncertainty that cause high amounts of anxiety as we go into 2017.

It’s hard to make investment commitments under some circumstances so for 2017 I’m committing to the following 2 practices to counter the unknowns:

Forecast free thinking

We don’t know how things are going to pan out in the world economy in the long term – which industries and regions will boom and which ones might wither away.

The best way to cope with this is to stop worrying about expert opinions on the future – a stop following list. Stop watching topics of interest rates or bond market growth. Unless you need it directly for your employment the unknowns can only increase your anxiety.

One of my favourite investors, Howard Marks, has written a practical piece on why forecasting and expert opinion really don’t help your investment decisions… those are better made with current data and information.

Abundance mindset

BBC statistics say that having $750,000 in assets puts you in the top 1% richest in humanity.

If you’re on my email list chances are you are in that demographic. Climate Change, Trump, the rise of the robots – the people most likely to adapt to these changes are the richest 1% of humanity. Instead of feeling sorry for the world I try to think about how I can leverage my education and access to financial and social resources to make the world work well for more people – more abundantly.

An abundance mindset forces you to constantly think that everything is working out for you ….. Amazon Now delivers anything from a grocery store within two hours… Within a few hours I can fly to anywhere on the planet…. In a few seconds Google Earth can show me exactly what that place looks like. I can eat and drink what I like because biomedical researchers are developing artificial pancreas and artificial livers…just kidding on that last one.

Here’s a TED talk by Peter Diamandis on abundance

Wising you the best for the next 12 months!