NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It took several failures and some therapy, but I think -- at 37 years of age -- I have finally shaken the psychological trapping that haunted and held me back during my 20s and early 30s.
The late, great Elliott Smith said it best: There are two big enemies: bitterness and style. If I can escape them both, then I'll be happy.
It's easy to be bitter.
More broadly speaking, there's no better cop-out than blaming external factors -- usually beyond your control -- for the way you feel, your perception of limited opportunity or your inability to succeed.Ironically, some Republicans spew cries of helplessness in response to an Obama victory. Regardless of political leanings, more than a few people blame even the thought of the fiscal cliff and a volatile-to-weak stock market on corporate America's refusal to spend and all sorts of apparently pending personal and widespread financial doom. Let's be clear, I am not downplaying the impacts of income and capital gain tax hikes, spending cuts and whatever else flows directly or indirectly from Washington's inability to act before the end of the year. But what else is new? There's always a crisis. I hammer that theme hard, but it's vitally important for investors to remember. Media hype over the hysteria du jour makes it easy to forget. Many of the institutions that shape society do not promote perspective, they perpetuate above-riffed hype, hysteria and helplessness. Put things in context. Relate it to your personal situation. Then, set yourself up to succeed or, at the very least, not get crushed if and when the excrement hits the fan. For investors, that should be relatively easy. And, yes, you should buy Barack Obama a beer. If Mitt Romney won, the market would have rallied. That's easy. Profit taking would have been reserved for an odd day here or there in the middle of a Santa Claus rally. It would not have been so front and center. The Obama victory actually provided investors with some certainty. Investors can rely on more than the generic answer -- Investors don't like Democrats -- for explanation. This time the election results gave us so much more.
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