Welcome to another edition of Finance Friday.
Quote I am pondering:
This quote is from one of my favor Twitter accounts I follow, “Commitment trumps Desire.” – Ed Latimore
It doesn’t matter how much we want something, it matters how much we are willing to commit to the actions to get that result.
We can “desire” better finances all we want, but until we create good habits through consistent action, we are unlikely to see results.
Set a goal and be committed to it regardless of what comes up.
Your commitment will carry you long after your desire has faded.
Stock Market Update:
You have probably noticed from the balances in your investment accounts – the market is rebounding nicely.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the Federal Reserve had their oversight meeting.
The market watched with anticipation to see if the Fed was going to raise rates.
They had hinted at turning course from their policy by not raising rates as often in 2019, and Wednesday was our chance to see if they would stick to it.
This ended up being the case, no interest rate hike.
The stock market proceeded to rally (go up) off of this news.
So, what does that mean? In my opinion this decision tells us two things.
First, we will likely see this policy of accommodation (no rate hikes) for the foreseeable future, and the stock market will likely continue to rally.
Second, there are weaknesses below the surface of this economy that has the Federal Reserve concerned.
When the Fed was raising interest rates in 2018 in an attempt to get back to a normal level, the stock market had a fit.
We lost 20% in the final quarter of last year because of it. And now we are gaining that 20% back just off of the news of no rate hikes.
This shows us how dependent our economy is on the Fed. I don’t think this is a good thing.
This manipulation of the stock market will eventually come back to bite us in the butt.
All the more reason to make sure your personal finances are in order.
How long does it take to make something a habit?
The science is somewhat split on this, but this article about how long it takes to form a habit, is one that aligns more closely with what I believe to be true from my own experience.
We have all heard the 21-day rule. This started back in the 50’s.
More recent research has shown that it in fact takes closer to 66 days – and more generally somewhere between 2 to 8 months.
From my experience the two-month threshold is where you start to feel the most resistance.
If you can make it past that point, the habit becomes much easier.
I definitely noticed this with getting up at 5:30 AM each morning. Some days it is still hard, but after I hit 60 days it definitely felt more like a habit.
Habits take consistent work, and even after you put in the time, it doesn’t mean it will become easy to do. Some things in fact may always be hard.
When it comes to money, habits are vital.
One habit I kicked over the last year is eating out for lunch with colleagues.
Not only was it wasting money, but more importantly, it was wasting my time.
Previously I was doing it 4 times a week. Now I do very seldom, and usually only reserve it for business meetings that have a clear purpose.
Now that I have done it for so long, it actually feels unnatural to do go out. When I am invited, I now consider if it is helping me reach my goals before I will oblige.
What was once difficult has now become second-nature. It took time before it became a habit.
The tip for this week is to find one activity that is hurting your finances and make it your focus over the next 60 days.
You may likely slip up, but remember to stay committed until it becomes natural.
Once this is mastered, you can then move onto other areas of struggle.
Start with something simple and build up to the harder things.
My next habit I am working towards is making sure that any time I spend on the internet is either helping me learn something valuable or helps further my business.
I don’t want to waste time looking at information or social media accounts that aren’t helping me further develop myself.
This one may be a little tougher. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Book I am Reading:
Living Forward: A Prove Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy
As the title states, this book is about being purposeful with your life.
One point I really like from this article is when the author talks about an individual who was struggling with their dissertation.
At one point, the task seemed too big for this person, and they didn’t think they could complete it.
At the moment of almost breaking, they received a gift from someone who knew they were struggling. It was an ant farm.
At first, they thought it was a strange gift, but after the next few days they saw the power of it.
Each ant was lifting one piece of sand at a time, and after a few days the tunnels started to take shape.
It was then they realized that it is about the small things we do consistently that add up.
Don’t focus on the gargantuan feats, focus on the small items that make a big difference over time.
If we are trying to do too much we may get overwhelmed, whereas if we break it down into small blocks it seems much easier to accomplish.
I am excited for a blog post that will be released early next week called: The 5 Money Tips for Preparing for a Recession.
Watch your emails, I think you’ll find this post valuable.
I hope you found this edition insightful. As always, if there are any topics you would like me to cover, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email or send me a message on social media.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a great weekend!