In general, investors are only happy when their investments make money. However, if they live their lives by certain principles, investors can maintain their happiness regardless of whether their investments are currently doing well.

July 11, 2012 ( — In general, investors are only happy when their investments make money. However, if they live their lives by certain principles, investors can maintain their happiness regardless of whether their investments are currently doing well.

Contribute to the World
Although many people think happiness is a matter of selfishness, contributing something of value to the world actually makes people happier. A 2008 study from the University of British Columbia, for example, discovered that people who give money to charity are happier than those who only spend money on themselves. This is true regardless of how much money people make; even those with low or modest incomes feel happier when they are doing something to support others.

Investors can contribute to the world in two ways. When your investments are successful, you can re-invest some of your earnings in other people. Help your struggling nephew go to college, for example, or contribute money to a charity that is important to you. You can also choose your investments with charity in mind. Invest only in businesses that help further causes that are important to you. For example, if education is important to you, you might invest in an educational supply company or in a tutoring business.

Surround Yourself With Other Happy Investors
Happiness is contagious; the happier you are, according to psychologist James Fowler, the happier others around you tend to be (Kaplan 2008). However, there are some people who respond to happiness with envy or anger rather than happiness. So as an investor, it’s important that you avoid these toxic people and instead surround yourself with people who applaud your success. The applause shouldn’t go all one way; you should be equally pleased with your friends’ investing successes.

Surrounding yourself with happy investors may help you get investment tips as well as help you feel happier. Happy investors are more likely to be successful, so if you surround yourself with happy investors, they will probably share news, information and advice with you.

Do Things You Love
People who love what they do for a living are happier than those who go to work because they feel obligated in order to pay the bills. The same is true for investors. Make sure you truly love the companies you are investing in and the thrill of investing. If one or the other doesn’t really appeal to you, you need to be doing something else.

Stay Grateful
Investments come and go. There may come a time in your life when, despite your best efforts, an investment falls through spectacularly, costing you a lot of money. When this happens, it’s harder to stay happy. However, if you maintain a grateful attitude, you’re more likely to stand strong during difficult periods. People who focus on what they have rather on what they’ve lost or what they wish they had tend to be happier than those who focus on the opposite. Focusing on what you have reminds you of how good your life really is regardless of how difficult your present circumstances may be. So when times are good, be grateful for the opportunity to invest and the money you’re making off of your investments, and when something negative happens, be grateful for the opportunity to learn something about how to invest more wisely in the future.

Keep Things in Perspective
It’s important to make investing only one part of your life, not the sum total of it. Some people get so wrapped up in chasing potentially lucrative investments that they miss out on other important aspects of life. Happy people tend to stay balanced–they spend part of their time investing or doing other things to make money and part of their time relaxing, socializing and enjoying their friends and family. If you get out of balance, investing will cease to be fun. You may also find yourself getting depressed about what you don’t have.

Stay in the Present
Some people get into investing because they’re excited about how much money they might make in the future. However, all that money won’t allow you to be happy if you don’t enjoy the journey. Focus on what you are doing now and do things that make you happy and move you towards your investing goals rather than waiting until you make a lot of money to start feeling happy.

Take Action
Although happiness is mainly a state of mind, it’s important to keep taking action towards your investment goals. You need to find the right balance between dreaming and action. Dreaming can help you feel positive about your future, but if you just dream, that future will never come to pass.

Act Like a Happy Person As Much As Possible
Investing can be frustrating sometimes. An investment may take longer to mature than you expected or not mature at all. However, focusing on the frustration will magnify it in your mind. If you try instead to act the way you would if you were happy, you will find yourself feeling happier despite the difficulty of your circumstances.

Honor Your Feelings
Although it’s important to act like a happy person, don’t deny yourself the right to feel what you feel. Your feelings give you important information about what’s going on with your investments or other areas of your life. So it’s important to take a few moments to breathe deeply and to feel whatever you feel. Your feelings may be telling you to take time off from investment or avoid a particular investment; don’t ignore this information.

Look for Small Successes
Many investors get into trouble because they go into it to make huge deals and lots of money. This may not happen for you, but almost any investor can have smaller successes. Relish every success rather than thinking that a particular success isn’t good enough because you didn’t make a killing.

Give Yourself Permission To Stop
The thrill of making successful investments can be addicting. Some people keep investing and investing, hoping to get bigger and bigger payoffs. Sometimes, though, you’re secretly happy with what you’ve done so far and don’t feel like doing any more. If so, then allow yourself to stop, either temporarily or permanently.

Let Go of Attachment to Outcomes
Many investors keep their expectations high–and that’s a good thing, because it allows you to be excited about your potential future. However, when you believe in your expectations so deeply that you’re crushed if life doesn’t work that way, you can run into emotional trouble. Aim high but let go of outcomes in order to stay happy.

Keep a Budget
Some investors focus solely on earning and not on what they want to do with their money. As a result, they may feel impoverished and depressed even if they make more than $100,000 in successful investments! Create a monthly budget and stick to it in order to stay happy.

Think About All The Ways You Are Abundant
It’s easy to become too focused on the bottom line. There’s more to successful investing than making money. Even if you haven’t started making money with your investments yet, you are abundant in many other ways–for example, you may have a lot of friends, be learning a lot of new things on your investment journey, or have the opportunity to travel and meet other investors. Think of these things as ways you are abundant to keep money blues at bay.

Happiness often comes down to being grateful for what you have, living in the moment, and moving towards an even better future for both yourself and others. This is as true for investors as for anyone else; if you live your life by these principles, you will have a successful, happy life as an investor.

Anonymous. (March 20, 2008). Charity ‘Makes You Feel Better‘. In BBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2012.

Kaplan, K. (December 5, 2008). Your Whole World Smiles With You. In Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2012.


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