November 2016 ByManish Vora The stock market can teach you a thing or two about spirituality, asserts Manish Vora This may seem unlikely but the stock market is the ideal place to practise the three tenets that constitute spirituality: surrender, humility and faith. In the stock market you are reminded graphically that things change constantly. Stocks which were up yesterday could be down today. The screen changes everyday and you have to be mentally ready for the change. Only those who are grounded and know that their wealth is an illusion and that things could change very suddenly can survive the stock market.Consider the following: Everything in life revolves around having correct perception. If you don’t have correct perception you will see the world through tinted glasses and even if you inherit hundreds of crores you will die a pauper because you will continuously make wrong decisions in life. If your perception is clear you will see the world as it is, full of opportunities and equal to all. To invest well and make money in the stock it is essential to have a very clear perception about the future. You have to very clearly understand risk. If you don’t have acute risk perception the stock market will show you the door in no time. The Buddha stressed on having right perception in the eight-fold path taught by him. This has its greatest relevance in the stock market. The market teaches you very fast the first principles of Tao i.e. never go against the flow. There is a time to buy and there is a time to sell. Having said that, it must be clarified that it is not the bull market which offers opportunity but the bear market. You manage to buy your most successful stocks only in a bear market provided you have the capacity to survive the bear market.Positive thinking is very important when investing in the stock market. During a bear market the successful investor will invest money. Successful investors keep reminding themselves that just as day follows night the bear market too will pass and give way to a bull market. However, at this stage we must differentiate between positive thinking and wishful thinking. When investing in the stock market we must do our research and pick stocks which have a good future. If we don’t have the requisite experience we must rely on the advice of an expert. Once we have invested we must have conviction in our stock picks and give our investments the requisite time to bloom. If you are not a positive thinker, the market will show you the exit door before you realise it. There is no better place to realise the Buddhist truth that everything is interconnected than the stock market. A fall in the price of rubber could mean higher profits for tyre companies. You learn that nothing exists in isolation and that everything depends on everything else. Only those who can see these interconnections can make money in the market. You have to adapt, be flexible and be open to understanding that the success of your investments depends on several factors beyond your control.The Buddha said Pain is certain, suffering is optional. Any long-term investor in the stock market understands that there will be periods when his investments may give negative returns. Only investors who can detach from day-to-day fluctuations and hold on for the long term, can make money in the stock market. Patience is another virtue the stock market teaches you. Those who are not patient do not do well in the stock market.In conclusion, before entering the stock market, take the inner journey; if not, the market will force you there!
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