That’s a quote.
From a client.
And while it might have been said with less than 100% conviction, I’ve heard phrases like that throughout my career delivering financial advice.
The market’s dropping.
Your company stock is cratering. 📉
Your diversified, low-cost, total market index portfolio isn’t posting triple digit returns like investment XYZ is.
These are just a few examples of situations where people - maybe even you - feel a genuine threat to their survival.
But why is that?
I’m no expert, but I think it goes waaaaay back in our history as a species.
In pre-agricultural times, we typically lived in hunter-gatherer tribes.
These tribes provided each of us safety in numbers, division of labor, and a sense of community.
But what if you were suddenly no longer part of your tribe?
What if you were on your own and had to fend for yourself?
Your chance of getting eaten by a saber tooth tiger just went up.
So did your odds of starving to death.
Part of a tribe = safety, food, belonging, life.
Outside of a tribe = danger, hunger, isolation, death. ☠️
Just like the “money scripts” I referenced in last week’s issue
, I believe this ancestral, tribal programming is in each of us to this day.
So when something threatens our sense of belonging to a tribe - whether at home, at work, or feeling like part of the financial majority - we feel a physical threat to our lives.
It can literally feel like life or death.
I know I’ve felt it.
And whether or not you’ve acknowledged it, I’m guessing you’ve felt it too.
So what’s the solution?
I’m not sure.
But I think when it comes to your financial decisions, rather than feeling like you have to “belong” to whatever you perceive is going on around you, take a deep breath and realize that you have a choice.
First, it’s highly unlikely these days that you’ll be eaten by a saber tooth tiger or other predator.
You’re probably not going to starve.
And these days, you’re likely a member of multiple tribes, all of which bring community and connection to your life.
When it comes to your money decisions, just make sure that your financial plan is based on what’s important to you and your personal tribe, whether that’s your family, community, friends, organizations, or others.
I’m not suggesting our tribal history is something to be ignored or suppressed.
Instead embrace it.
Realize when you’re experiencing threats to your survival, even though they can often be subtle.
And accept that you’re going to be faced with some tough decisions in the future around your money. 💰
Your very own personal financial plan might just be the thing that helps you make smarter decisions.
And, more importantly, stick to them.
Even when it feels like a hungry tiger 🐅 is sneaking up behind you.