FOG, FS  / by   mjmccormick

The Ulysses Pact: Navigating the Siren Sounds of Investing.

Becoming a wizened investor is a hero's journey. It takes the proper mix of trust, optimism, and restraint to keep yourself from plunging headlong into meme stocks or making investments based solely on a security's current trajectory. 

The key to a successful long-term investing experience isn't about where stock values are right now; it's about maintaining a life-long iron clad commitment to empirically proven academic evidence. Resisting the urge to allow instincts and emotions to take over takes a healthy dose of willpower and restraint. Unfortunately, due to our humanness those two qualities are not at the forefront for those who have not steeled themselves from the temptation of the quick.

Back in the 90s, there was a song called "My Own Worst Enemy" by a one hit wonder. It's a catchy tune that still gets regular radio play. That's the bottom line: when it comes to investing, the average person is their own worst enemy. in the face of a "hot tip" it's in our nature to act impulsively, throwing any tendency towards calmness and objectivity straight out the window.  Just look at the recent GameStop craze. 

The first step towards developing a solid financial strategy is coming to grips with the fact that no one can predict the future. While you might think that your instincts are reliable and under control and that your biases are in check, the science of being human investors proves otherwise. You've got your own set of skills; enlist the help of a financial coach to guide you so you can achieve the things you've dreamt about . 

So what is the role of a Coach? We liken it to Greek mythology, specifically the tale of Ulysses and the Sirens. Here's a quick refresher for those not up to date with liberal arts. 

In the story, Ulysses and his crew regularly sail past a cursed island inhabited by sirens. The sirens would appear to passing sailors as beautiful women known far and wide for their intoxicating songs. In reality, however, the sirens were really hideous monsters who craved nothing more than to feast on shipwrecked sailors. When a ship came too close to the island, the sirens would sing in beautiful harmony putting the sailors under their spell and luring the ship to the rocks.

Ulysses was a survivor, however, and smarter than the average bear. He wanted to experience the sirens' song without stranding his crew at the beasts' mercy, so he instructed his men to tie him to the ships mast and stuff their own ears with wax. The extraordinary efforts helped Ulysses and his crew escape certain death. 

So what does Ulysses have to do with investments and coaches? As it turns out more than you might think.

This story forms the basis for a psychological principle known as "The Ulysses Pact," or "The Ulysses Contract." Poor investment choices —the flash-in-the-pan stock tips, market timing, gurus, impulsive behavior, and track record investing — are the sirens. Their songs promise riches and glory, but the results often leave misery and heartbreak. The average investor is of course Ulysses, keeping their eye and ears open for high-quality, actionable data. As a Financial Coach, my role is like that of the steadfast crew. We must guide the ship along the safest course possible despite the sirens' tempting song. 

More than just a novel arrangement or anecdote, a Ulysses Pact is an actual technique used to help build positive habits. The Ulysses Contract is a mechanism that lets us make a choice in present day while simultaneously forcing us to follow through on that choice in the future when we may be confronted with circumstances diverting us from our desired outcome. It is a way of binding positive intentions to a positive outcome in order to help the investor develop an equally positive framework for achieving a successful investing experience.  

We are your very own Ulysses Pact. We are here to help you navigate the siren infested investing and business waters. We want you to experience, like Ulysses did, the beautiful siren song but with the right supports in place to help you distinguish the difference between good and destructive choices in the heat of the moment. 

Contact us for assistance with any issue that affects you financially.

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