I read a lot of financial news, but I’m the furthest thing from an expert in the field. I do it because I have a basic interest in how that part of the world works. When a guy says you should do X instead of Y, I like to have some basic understanding of the “why” behind the statement. If nothing else, I like to be able to ask intelligent questions when I don’t quite understand why things are the way they are.
Much of what I’ve been reading over the last few months is hammering the notion of fear in the market and the various behaviors that are being driven by it. It’s academically interesting enough, I suppose, but I feel like the discussion could be taken a step further. Emotion, not just fear, drives the market. I suspect it drives far more than that – and often enough it points people in a direction that isn’t particularly helpful.
I’m sure there are those out there who say they don’t feel emotions. I can only assume that a large percentage of them are lying, sociopathic, or a combination of both. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with feeling the emotion – whether it’s fear, lust, joy – but people seem to get themselves into a world of trouble when they never get past the feeling stage. They dwell in it until whatever it is they’re feeling causes some kind of mental paralysis.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling the full range of emotions. It’s inherently human, but I see very little good that comes from them being the master rather than just elements that serve the whole. Control is illusory, but I do think it’s entirely possible to manage your emotions, despite what the clips of people having public meltdowns on TikTok want us to believe.
Look, I’m not saying everyone needs to be an automaton, but maybe finding a way to channel some of the good and the bad into more reasoned and less knee-jerky responses to outside stimuli would be just a little bit helpful in going about the day. Not everyone needs to be a philosopher king, but swinging from pillar to post based on the market, the news, or life events feels like a damnably bad way to run a railroad.