Friday, June 4, 2010

Forget Fear & Greed: I'm a Lover!

I am no billionaire investor, but I’m sure glad I do not conform to a common analysis of personality traits ascribed to investors of all levels: My primary motivating factor is neither fear nor greed.

When famed investor Warren Buffett asserted that people are either motivated by fear or by greed, he was speaking of investors. Sure, a smart person can twist that concept to make it suit any aspect of life, thereby categorizing all people, in all aspects of each of their lives, as either motivated by fear or motivated by greed.

Buffett's fear-greed comparison was not intended not to supply fearful people with the excuse of a “personality type” that they could use to justify fear-driven actions in parts of their lives outside financial investments.

In the stock market, on a very basic, initial level, perhaps a person can be categorized as such: Motivated either by fear or by greed.

In life, however, a set of circumstances and environments unique to every individual creates an analogy that is not as cut-and-dried as the “fear versus greed” analogy.

Consider the possibility of being motivated by fear and/or LOVE, for instance; this philosophy is far more promising than fear versus greed, especially as related to matters of the heart, or any part of life outside the bank account.

What are matters of the heart, anyway? Everything is a matter of the heart. Even the stock market, I'm willing to argue, is affected by matters of the heart. Not to digress, however... I'll research and elaborate on that concept in another post.

Mr. Buffett, when it comes to investing, there may be no other like you. And your advice for folks in the business world to look at investors as either motivated by fear or by greed is sound – but it stops when the bell rings at the end of the day.

I choose to be motivated by Love and I do so shamelessly.

If someone who is motivated by Love is labeled by fearful persons as greedy, then the fearful need enlightenment.

If, instead, people can remember that Love is more powerful than greed, and more freeing that fear, then they understand how to live life to the fullest.

There are many cycles people can choose for their lives; some also are the results of happenstance. But imagining we can choose a cycle, which, of these general types, would you choose for yourself (and, I admit, my wording below is a bit manipulative, but this is my blog after all!):

1) Fear leads to anger which leads to resentment which leads to frustration which can lead to success, but which can also lead back to fear.

2) Greed leads to frivolity which leads to carelessness and recklessness and buries the truth in superfluous living.

3) Love leads to freedom which leads to expression, which leads to sharing, which leads back to Love.

I’m all about #3. But fear not: I am sensible enough to leave a little room for fear, when necessary, to allow the production of adrenalin in times of emergency.