Thursday, February 26, 2015

Top 5 Lifestyle Habits that make me a better investor

Good day dear readers,

First of all-- I want to quickly apologize for the hiatus on the blog. I've been working a whole lot lately (which is amazing) but I also don't want to neglect this space which I enjoy so very much. To my defense, I've also been researching and preparing tons of content for the blog. So, just know that being here sharing my knowledge as well as learning from other fellow investors is a very important part of my life. 

Today I'd like to take some time away from discussing specific stocks to talking about some habits I've been developing over the past several months which I feel have helped me tremendously. Not only in helping me feel great about myself (inside and out) but I feel they've also had a positive impact on how I approach investing and all the work that goes behind making an investment decision.

Here I share with you my Top Five Habits which I feel help me be a better investor:

1. Waking up early: Up until about six month ago, I never considered myself a morning person. I dreaded the idea of getting out of bed and would be so incredibly upset in the mornings. That has completely changed. Part of it probably has to do with the fact that I am doing what I love for a living. Hence, I wake up to my passion and not to a job that I dread commuting to. What an incredible feeling. 

Whether or not you are working on your "passion" waking up bright and early provides a clear mind as well as extra time to prepare ourselves for the day. I like to drink my coffee in peace and quiet and eat breakfast while reading the paper and then making a list of things I'd like to accomplish throughout the course of the day. Early for me is getting out of bed around 6:00 am or so (on most days). However, pick a time that works best for you. You may be thinking 'who has time for that'?! But if you make an effort to set aside 20-30 minutes for yourself each morning, you wont regret it. Just trust me and give it a try.

2. Reading & Listening- A lot: Ever since graduate school ended my business books have been replaced with more business books but this time I am reading more things of interest. I recall being a huge 'fiction' reader when I was a teenager but that has changed drastically as I am now constantly reading books about investing (obviously), self development, entrepreneurship, and motivational books. Not to mention I got myself a subscription to the Wall Street Journal which started back in January and I've been reading that as well (full review coming soon). 

Besides reading, I've also continued my 'habit' of listening to investing podcasts, which is something i've been doing for the last few years. If you follow me on Twitter, you may know my absolute favorite investing podcast which I listen to daily is Market Foolery. I also came across another one of their shows recently which is called Motley Fool Money. I feel that the shows do such an incredible job of explaining what is going on in the stock market in a simple/straight forward way without any 'fancy' and unnecessary terminology. They get straight to the point while keeping it entertaining. I have yet to find any other investing podcasts similar to the ones I listen to but if you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them (email me!).

Full disclosure: I interned at the Motley Fool this past summer but I have been listening to the podcast for nearly 3-4 years (way before I had the privilege of working there).

With all my reading and listening I feel like I am learning so much and absorbing so much information. Knowing about various topics allows me to analyze companies better and understand their mechanics- which in turn helps me in making better decisions of whether or not an industry or a particular product has potential for growth and whether is a 'buy', 'sell', or 'hold' as we say in the investing world. 

3. Working out & Eating Healthy: Let me let you in a little secret- besides the stock market another huge passion of mine is leading a healthy lifestyle. Dont get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth that needs to be watched and controlled and I have been known to sometimes spend too much time on the couch flipping through channels. 

However, over time I've come to understand the significance of keeping my body fit and how it has a tremendously positive effect in other aspects of my life. I have a routine that has been working excellent for me which consists of doing my cardio workouts in the morning hours and strength training in the evenings. I also make a conscious effort to drink tons of water and green tea throughout the day as well as make sure I am consuming nutritious, healthy {yet, delicious} meals and snacks. 

This approach has allowed me to have tons of more energy and a more clear and focused mind. When I was a teenager, I used to see working out and eating healthy as simply a way to 'look good'. Time has made me understand that the benefits of said habits go well above and beyond the physical. It is all connected ladies and gents. I encourage you to do the same. When you feel better, you do better. 

4. Continuous learning: Learning is an ongoing process, specially as an investor in a continuously changing world. Besides tons of reading (as noted above), I have been watching DVDs, online tutorials, enrolling myself in online courses about finance, and the list goes on. My two main goals for the years (when it comes to investing education) are to teach myself how to make money with options and to learn technical analysis. Not sure if both goals will be accomplished but I am putting action behind my objectives. If I can master at least one of the two I'll be a happy camper. It takes time and I am aware of it but I love learning and expanding my mind. So, more than a burden (as some people may see it) I see it as a joy, on a personal level. 

5. Keeping a positive attitude: The power of positive thinking goes beyond just being an optimist; it affects so many parts of our lives. I have a mentality of progress and growth and this is something that I apply to my investments as well. Every time my stocks go up in value I think to myself "I'm rich". While this may be a stretch of the imagination at the moment it still feels good to say it. As the saying goes: 'fake it till you make it'. And that's exactly what I am doing. I also make a conscious effort to remain positive and optimistic in other aspects of my life. Nothing is ever perfect but if we can find the silver lining in most things, it makes for a better quality of life. As cliche as this may sound: focusing on the positive has a far higher return on investment than focusing on the negative. And I truly believe this applies across the board for everyone out there reading this. 

Thanks for reading! 

Would love to hear about YOUR own personal lifestyle habits that make you a better investor, or simply a better person. Also, if you have any recommendations for podcasts, please share! Email me or comment below.

Cheers to profits,