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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Want long-term happiness over short-term thrills? Buy experiences, not things

Many small investors enter the stock market with the hope of making some quick gains. They may have heard stories from their friends or colleagues about making a killing in a sugar stock that quadrupled in 6 months, and want to jump on the bandwagon.

So they buy another sugar stock and are excited when the stock spurts 15% shortly after they purchase it. They book out with a small profit, and boast about their investing acumen to all and sundry. 

The thrill of the ride gets into their blood, and they want to repeat the experience with another stock. This time, their luck runs out as the stock tanks immediately after they purchase it. They buy some more to 'average down' their cost price - but the stock keeps going further down.

Reluctantly, they turn into 'long- term investors' in the hope that some day they will be able to get back their 'buy price'. That some day may take a very long time to come. Short-term thrill seeking turns into long-term unhappiness.

Sound familiar? As in the stock market, so in life.

We constantly seek instant pleasures - catching Salman Khan's latest film first-day first show, or buying the newest and thinnest laptop or smart phone - not realising that instant pleasures get easily satiated. So you go seeking for the next one.

According to this article in forbes.com, "... people who spent money on experiences rather than material items were happier and felt the money was better spent. The thrill of purchasing things fades quickly but the joys and memories of experiences ... can last a lifetime." 

Spend money for buying experiences. Gift your parents an all expenses paid weekend getaway to Chail or Kalimpong or Kodaikanal instead of buying the latest gadget. Not only will you feel good about it, your parents will share their experiences with you and the rest of your family for many years.

Go out with your friends or family for a concert and dinner. Those "who have more frequent social interactions live longer, healthier lives and experience less stress, depression and feelings of isolation."  

Join a creative writing course, or a foreign language class or an art/music school instead of sleeping late during weekends. Meet new people, learn new things, expand your mental horizons and experiences.

And, for long-term happiness in the stock market learn how to make a financial plan, an asset allocation plan and have the discipline to follow the plans to build wealth over the long-term.

[Want to learn how to pick stocks for the long-term? Subscribe to my Monthly Investment Newsletter today. Paid subscriptions are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis  Subscriptions will remain open till July 21, 2016.] 

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