Applying my mélange of somewhat-uncorrelated future majors and minors in even more uncorrelated ways.
Long-term growth of the investment of life
*Assuming you are not exactly a pessimist. Nor that you are deathly afraid of investing in any market (i.e., absolutely risk-averse).
THE PRINCIPLES OF INVESTING IN LIFE
Diversify your interests, passions, hobbies, and areas of knowledge and expertise. Don't sit and be a couch potato watching Netflix 24/7 or playing video games or dropping $2,000 at the mall if you plan on growing the value of your account (as in, not just your bank account).
2. Do your research to stay informed on which aspects of your life will generate the highest returns. In two words : know thyself. Don't just blindly follow the crowd. Mob mentality is a surefire deflator on your portfolio.
3. Stay curious and open-minded. Listen to new ideas and be conscious of the greater surrounding market. Don't be afraid to "borrow" some ideas and test them out - after all, who said that you're not allowed to reject your hypothesis if it, in all truth, turns out to be a total flop?
4. Be a risk-seeker. The market doesn't wait for the risk-averse and will take off without you if you are a little too cautious and reluctant to carp diem. And least of all does life. He who hides in the dark will be left ou tof the fun in the sun. You don't need to sign yourself up for skydiving, per se, but perhaps consider committing to learning a new skill or language, nurturing a new passion, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Sounds cliché, but it's always what is not done that becomes the biggest regret down the road. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but in my bit of experience, it seems that life operates on a sink-or-swim basis. And, the explorers and pioneers are the ones who are rewarded in the long run.
5. Stay in for the long-run. That's where the good things lie. People oftentimes will lament over pulling out too soon, and perhaps nowhere could this be more true than the market of life. Stay in for the entire ride because, frankly, life is short. Too short to miss out on half the ride. Do not sell yourself short -- literally.
To borrow from the Romans, who in turn borrowed from the Greeks:
Ars longa, vita brevis.
Interpreting life in terms of the stock market may not be the first that comes to mind.
My reasoning :
There seems to be a universal principle of opposing pairs prevalent throughout a variety of cultures. Surely, after all, there ought to be good reason for our marvellous little maxim of opposites attract - beyond purely the product of physics and (rather) inexplicable processes of biological chemistry: the ancient Greek mythological contrast of happiness and sadness, life and death, Promethius and Epimethius, Man and Pandora; biblical allusions to angels and demons; the ancient Chinese concept of yin and yang -
Much can be added to the list, in my view - pairs¹ such as the right and left hemispheres, white and black piano keys (which some interpret to represent happiness and sadness, respectively), the ascent and descent of climbing a mountain, sunrises and sunsets -
The point : all such aforementioned contradictory pairs are, in actuality, complements of each other and cannot occur independently of one another. In other words, instead of being mutually exclusive, these contrasting complements must coexist.
However, here I will only elaborate on a specific pairing I have isolated for further analysis : one rooted in basic accounting. Nothing technical, less two commonly-used terms : debits (increases in account balance) and credits (corresponding decreases in account), the former of which may be understood as the "good" things and events in life and the latter of which denote the "bad" things. The last outstanding aspect to internalise in order to understand this story is that debits must always balance out credits (otherwise you fail your introductory accounting course).
Per the accounting principles applied to the overall picture of life, bad things are followed by good things, and vice versa, and over the course of the day or week, the good and bad will cancel each other out.
Analysis : the stock market model
But if you're an attentive reader, you'd notice that there is a slight theoretical misalignment : if debits and credits ultimately have to cancel out, then how could there still be long-term growth, which would be (correctly) interpreted as a debit balance in the long-run?
The caveat : the accounting principle seems to be the one exception (at least among all I've observed) to the list above, which generally apply to long-run cases. Essentially, the debit-credit interpretation is a rather short-term scenario.
Somehow, it seems, over the span of a lifetime, the immaterial debits from each week will add up to a rather substantial amount. There is a concept of synergy, where the sum of the parts equate to more than the whole - perhaps this principle is at play here as well. It is not a perfect explanation. There is no perfect explanation.
This I will leave to the esoteric enigmas of life. Not everything is perfectly accountable for, after all, right?
1. My dearest apologies, but "cookies & crème" or "shampoo and condition" or "coffee and tea" do not belong on this list. Perhaps the discussion for perfect complements and perfect substitutes, of which comprise great debating room, may be found elsewhere. These are not be interchangeably referenced to as the present subject of opposing pairs.
Note: Coffee and tea are absolutely no perfect substitutes. 100% organic whole milk does not belong in tea and I hope you don't fancy putting lemons in your coffee (Beyond this distinction, these are just not substitutable. Coffee is coffee and tea is tea. End of my strong view on this matter.)