What would it feel like to know in your mind, in your heart, and in the very depth of your soul that you’ll always be prosperous? To know with absolute certainty that no matter what happens in the economy, stock market, or real estate, you’ll have financial security for the rest of your life? To know that you’ll possess an abundance that will enable you not only to take care of your family’s needs but also to delight in the joy of helping others?
We all dream of achieving that tremendous inner peace, that comfort, that independence, that freedom. In short, we all dream of being unshakeable.
It’s not just a matter of money. It’s a state of mind. When you’re truly unshakeable, you have unwavering confidence even amidst the storm.
Not that nothing upsets you. We can all get hooked. But you don’t stay there. Nothing rattles you for any length of time. You don’t allow fear to take you over. If you’re knocked off balance, you find your center quickly and regain your inner calm. When others are afraid, you have the presence of mind to take advantage of the turmoil swirling all around you.
This state of mind allows you to be a leader, not a follower. To be the chess player, not the chess piece. To be one of the few who do, not one of the many who merely talk!
You know we’re living in strange times when even the greatest financial minds admit to being confused. For me, this reality was driven home emphatically last year when I arranged a meeting of my Platinum Partners: an intimate group of friends and clients who gather once a year to gain financial insights from the best of the best.
We had already listened to the opinions of seven self-made billionaires. But now it was time to hear from a man who, for two decades, had wielded more economic power than anyone else alive. I was seated in one of two leather wingback chairs on a stage in a conference room at the Four Seasons hotel in Whistler, British Columbia. Outside the snow was falling gently.
The man sitting across from me was none other than Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, Greenspan ultimately served as the Fed chief to four presidents before retiring in 2006.
We could hardly have asked for a more experienced insider to cut through the confusion and shed light on the future of the economy. As our two-hour conversation drew to a close, I had one final question for this man who had seen it all, who had guided the US economy through thick and thin for 19 years.
“Alan, you’ve had 90 years on this planet and have seen incredible changes in the world economy,” I began. “So, in this world of intense volatility and insane central banking policies around the globe, what is the one thing you would do if you were still the Fed chairman today?”
Greenspan paused for a while. Finally, he leaned forward and said: “Resign!”
What are you supposed to do when even an economic icon of Alan Greenspan’s stature is tempted to throw up his hands in dismay, unable to make sense of what’s going on or guess where it will end?
If you’re feeling stressed and confused, I understand. But let me tell you the good news: there are a few people who do have the answers – a few brilliant financial minds that have figured out how to make money in good times and bad.
Here’s what you do have to do: you have to focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t. You can’t control where the economy is headed and whether the stock market will soar or plunge. But that doesn’t matter! The winners of the financial game know that they can’t control the future, either. They know their predictions will often be wrong because the world is just too complex and fast-changing for anybody to foresee the future. But, as you’ll learn in the pages to come, they focus so intently on what they can control that they’ll thrive no matter what happens to the economy or the financial markets. And with the help of their insights, you’ll thrive too.
We all know that we’re not going to become unshakeable through wishful thinking, or by lying to ourselves, or by merely thinking positive, or by putting photos of exotic cars on our “vision boards”. It’s not enough to believe. You need the insights, the tools, the skills, the expertise, and the specific strategies that will empower you to achieve true and lasting prosperity. You need to learn the rules of the financial game, who the players are, what their agendas are, where you can get hurt, and how you can win. This knowledge can set you free.
As you and I know, we’re emotional creatures with a gift for doing crazy stuff under the influence of emotions such as fear and greed. As the legendary Princeton University economist Burton Malkiel told me: “Emotions get ahold of us, and we, as investors, tend to do very stupid things.”
For example, we tend to put money into the market and take it out at exactly the wrong time. You probably know people who got carried away during a bull market and took reckless risks with money they couldn’t afford to lose. You may also know people who got scared and sold all their stocks in 2008, only to miss out on huge gains when the market rebounded in 2009.
What are you really after? How do you achieve the ultimate level of happiness you desire in your life? Is it really money you’re chasing, or is it the feelings that you think money can create? Many of us believe – or fantasize – that money will bring us to a point where we finally feel free, secure, excited, empowered, alive, and joyful.
But the truth is, you can achieve that beautiful state right now, regardless of your level of material wealth.
So why wait to be happy?