Concept #3: Laugh at Failure…Or how I accidently invested a grand in Tim Hortons

Digital Design By Daniel Prairie

Digital Design By Daniel Prairie

If you have no idea what is going on, I recommend that you read this post first.

There is a lot of contradictory advice when it comes to financial planning these days. Over the last few years, I have been advised to:

  1. Put money in an investment firm or bank’s mutual funds
  2. Play the penny stocks
  3. Do my own investing online and cut out the middle-men
  4. Buy Gold bullion
  5. Store it in cash under my mattress
  6. Spend it all

As you can see, people come to saving from many different angles. Recently, I decided to try out #3 and make my own investments. Being cautious, I took a relatively small amount of money and decided to see how the first transfer went.

I researched an organization called Vanguard that seemed to be doing well and taking a $1000 took the plunge. Clicking the transfer button, I was informed that the market was closed, but the transfer was in queue and would be transferred when the markets opened the next day. Then I forgot about it…just like what I was told to do with long-term investments.

The trouble was that I had this sense of uneasiness that I couldn’t shake, so a week later I caved and checked my new addition to the portfolio. To my horror, it turned out that I was not a proud investor in Pacific Rim emerging markets, but rather a stakeholder in the Tim Hortons Corporation! Somehow, in my effort to invest in the Kaiju-inspired international fund (though perhaps the fund came first), I instead invested in the iconic seller of assembly line coffee.

Thankfully, I was able to transfer the investment out with only a minimal loss, but it didn’t change the fact there were two ways I could go about handling this situation. I could get angry and agitated, taking the financial misstep as highlighting a personal fault or I could view it as a learning opportunity and a great story to tell. I chose the latter.

Applying the concept:

See the silver-lining; that’s it. You can agonize over mistakes ad infinitum, but if you instead view them in a humerous light, it makes personal shortcomings a lot easier to swallow and the blow to your ego a lot softer. The next time you make a mistake, envision how you could explain the story as a joke to someone else. Then start up a blog and tell it…or maybe just keep it to yourself.

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