Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of an ongoing series. The Global Investing Roundups will return later this week.
By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Money Morning/The Money Map Report
Think about your money for a minute.
When it comes to success, “earning more” is only part of the picture. Studies show that what you save may actually be more important than what you earn.
And the best way to achieve those savings involves staying healthy.
Staying healthy? At this point you’re probably asking just what your health has to do with money and with the stock-and-bond markets. So let met clue you in.
Studies show that rough markets like those we’re experiencing now are stressful. And “bad” stress like this can be harmful to your health. Not only are there direct correlations between the ups and downs of whipsaw markets and such health problems as heart attacks, ulcers, and high blood pressure, there’s actually a growing body of evidence that suggests market-related stress may be the primary cause of such maladies.
Now, I’m not a medical professional, but I can certainly tell you that during my career as a professional trader I’ve seen the evidence of such correlations. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen over the years in the professional trading arena who literally dropped dead of heart attacks, or suffered seizures or some other catastrophic health event.
And a single health problem – if it’s serious enough – can literally wipe out a financial portfolio, eating away at all your money and negating a lifetime of saving. I’ve seen it happen more than once.
That means that “staying healthy” has lots to do with your money.
Let’s be honest: Everyone operates under the false belief that “it” can only happen to the “other guy” – and never to “me.” And while that may be true, why test the odds?
As for me, I’d rather hedge my bets. I’m not an “all-or-nothing” kind of guy. It’s not good for business, just as it’s not good for one’s health.
I’ll make some moves that will help me profit when the markets are bad, even if it means my upside is a little less than in a rampant bull market.
Just as I’d rather exercise a little bit each day – even if it means time away from my “black box” computer screens – in the belief that I’m heading off problems that still would’ve been years away.
Granted, as a competitive triathlete my definition of exercise is somewhat extreme. But it doesn’t even take that level of commitment to add years of pleasure to your life. Studies show that we can benefit physically and mentally from exercise until we are well into our late 80s or early 90s – even if we have never done it before. Which means it’s literally never too late to start.
Here’s my personal five-point plan:
- Exercise First: Just as the old investing adage says to “pay yourself first,” the healthy equivalent is to “exercise first.” During any given year, my global travels can exceed 100,000 miles. No matter where I am or how tired I feel, I make it a priority to exercise at the start of each day. Not only does this help me manage the stress of traveling, it releases endorphins which are the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals.
- Be Active Daily: Even if it’s just stretching and taking a quick walk, get into the habit of “being active” daily. For me, this commitment not only helps keep the fat off; it helps me maintain a crisp mental edge – critical on tight schedules and in complicated financial times.
- Make the Time, Don’t Take the Time: This is partly a question of attitude or perspective; you need to look at this as a positive, and not as some odious chore. No matter how busy I am, there’s always an extra 20 minutes available. But I’ve got to make it a priority, which is why I’ll frequently slip away for a quick workout before attending lunch or meeting subscribers for cocktails.
- Fly Into the Sun: No, this isn’t some ancient philosophical insight – it’s a modern travel trip. “Fly into the sun” – particularly on international trips where jet lag figures to be an issue. Doing so not only helps reset your body’s internal clock, but it can help you sleep well for the critical first few nights in a new time zone.
- Limit the Libations: Not only can too much alcohol upset your digestion, it can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, and can blunt your immune response (not a great idea when you’re heading into a region of the world you’ve never been before). Indulging too much can also leave you less than sharp.
The bottom line: Taking good care of yourself is just good business.
[Editor’s Note: Money Morning Investment Director Keith Fitz-Gerald is on a mission to reduce his household energy consumption by 25% through conservation – without altering or compromising his family’s lifestyle. This is the fourth installment in this periodic series holds a special appeal for Fitz-Gerald: Despite a demanding travel schedule, he currently is training for April’s Ironman China competition – a grueling trek of 140.6 miles.]
News and Related Story Links:
Money Morning A Pledge to Hedge:
A Pledge to Hedge: Money Morning’s Fitz-Gerald Makes Public Promise to Slash Private Power Use (Part I).
Money Morning A Pledge to Hedge:
Saving $68 per Light Bulb and $100 on Water Immediately (Part II).
- Money Morning A Pledge to Hedge:
- Beginner’s Triathlete Training Site.
- About.com-Investing for Beginners:
- Pay Yourself First.
- Triathlon Sports Information Site.
- Wikipedia: Endorphins.
About the Author
Keith Fitz-Gerald has been the Chief Investment Strategist for the Money Morning team since 2007. He's a seasoned market analyst with decades of experience, and a highly accurate track record. Keith regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand. In addition to heading The Money Map Report, Keith runs High Velocity Profits, which aims to get in, target gains, and get out clean. In his weekly Total Wealth, Keith has broken down his 30-plus years of success into three parts: Trends, Risk Assessment, and Tactics – meaning the exact techniques for making money. Sign up is free at totalwealthresearch.com.