The Single Wisest Thing You Can Do with Your Money

The Single Wisest Thing You Can Do with Your Money by Doug Casey for International Man

There’s a great deal more to becoming rich than buying the right investments and hoping for the best. The most important element in your strategy to win the battle for investment survival is your own psychology. You’ve heard that your attitude helps your health and your golf score; it’ll also improve your earning power.

It’s not enough to liquidate your past financial mistakes. It’s more important to liquidate counterproductive attitudes, approaches, and methods of dealing with problems. The results that someone gets in life are an indication of how sound his approach toward life is. A sound philosophy of life gives good results. People with chaotic, unproductive, unhappy lives usually don’t have anyone to blame but themselves. They rarely have a strategy for living and thus have no foundation on which to build a strategy for investing.

There’s plenty of good advice available on the subject. Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, Ben Franklin’s autobiography, Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking, Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, and Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics are all helpful.

One of the important things about the Greater Depression is that it will give you a chance to put your philosophy of life to the test. Almost anyone can get by in good times, but the years to come will separate the real winners from losers. Many will taste the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat firsthand; they won’t need the vicarious pleasure of Saturday afternoon TV sports to experience life.

There is, of course, no guarantee that just because you’ve developed a workable strategy that you won’t still be a casualty in the battle for financial survival. There is such a thing as plain bad luck. But, as Damon Runyon said, the bread may not always go to the wise, nor the race to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that’s the way to bet.

Tilt the odds in your favor by developing pro-survival attitudes, and the law of large numbers will take care of the rest.

There are, of course, an almost infinite number of valid attitudes. Anything that works for you is as good as anything that works for me. But since the next step in the strategy (consolidation) deals with gathering physical goods, I don’t want to leave any false impressions.

You may be able to salt away ten bags of silver, a thousand Krugerrands, and enough food to open a restaurant chain, but that’s not nearly as important as knowing how to get them all back again if you should lose them for any reason. That’s one thing no one can ever take away from you, and you can never lose: your attitude towards life.

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Doug Casey

For over a quarter of a century, legendary investor and best-selling author Doug Casey and his team at Casey Research have been helping self-directed investors to earn superior returns through innovative investment research designed to take advantage of market dislocations..