The Myth of Security

“Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature,
Nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding
danger is no safer, in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller

You often hear the last part of this quote—that life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.  But how often, if ever, have you heard the first part—that security is mostly a superstition?

Change and the unknown are the fuel that drive markets.  We make our living because of this in whirling uncertainty and fast paced alteration.  We place our money into this mix, and yet we seek financial security.

We seek security in other areas as well—emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual, not only in this life but the life hereafter.  The area in which we are most focused is the area in which we grew up most insecure.

It occurs to me that most of the values we long for in our lives are nothing but elusive ideals.  We seek love, freedom, independence, happiness, beauty, and security.
What if they are merely fleeting experiences to be enjoyed while we have them, but not clutched or demanded?  Oh, but we want to know we have them securely now and always.  We’ll need resilience and optimism to see us through.

Most traders hold independence and freedom as their highest values which have a financial ingredient at their base, so let’s talk about financial security.

            As traders and investors we are constantly having to place some part of our financial cushion at risk.  We throw our money into the daring adventure and get rewarded or punished for our courage or fool hardiness. We continually have to balance what we have with what we want.  It’s the bird in the hand and the bird in the bush syndrome.

Ironically, if we do nothing, our money diminishes through inflation.  Money in the mattress is not safe, and our most “secure” investments are being seriously depleted by inflation. Our most risky investments or trades are handsomely rewarded only to be devoured shockingly overnight.  We gather ourselves up, and proceed with our daring adventure, our profession.  We must to remain in the game.  Here and it’s gone.  There and it grows.  Unless we are willing to lose some of our “secure” finances, we cannot trade or invest.  What a dilemma!  What a state of affairs!  Where is our security?

What are we to do?  It seems to me the only thing we can do is to realize that financial security is a state of mind and not a number or a physical stash.  The only gold that is safe is the gold of the human heart and mind.  Security comes from believing in our skills and our ability to develop and hone out trading and investing abilities.  Security comes from admitting our mistakes and learning from our successes and failures.  And we look backwards and forwards and realize we can always create enough money to meet our needs and wants.