Have you noticed the buzz that has been stirring these last several weeks concerning interest rates? Each Tuesday the Federal Reserve meets to contemplate strategy. Interest rates have been at all time historic lows now almost 5 years. This has proven to be incredibly effective in jumpstarting our economy after the sub-prime meltdown and market demise of early 2009. We have seen millions of new individuals and families alike enter into the American dream of home ownership. Interest rates have gone as low as 3% in the last couple years but now things are appearing as if they might change.
Now that the economy has made its comeback and the investment markets are soaring again, it is only natural that interest rates would increase. After all, higher interest rates lead to longer term stability and strength in the US dollar. Each week we witness Fed Chairman Janet Yellen taking on a barrage of questions and concerns from the media. And as a result of her decision to keep rates where they are, the markets surged yet again!
On Friday March 6th, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 300 points. This massive move can be attributed to none other than fear and concern. Friday morning ahead of the market open there was yet again speculation being driven by the media that interest rates would surely rise in the coming week. A reaction most certainly occurred and it was a terribly negative one. What is truly amazing about this whole situation is that rates never moved….
How can something so dramatically negative occur like the investment markets losing 300 points, when the very thing that was feared NEVER ACTUALLY OCCURRED??? Now, why would I share this recent news on the economy on a blog designed for personal growth and leadership. Perhaps a few questions might be in order:
Have you ever worried about something that never came to fruition?
Have you allowed either fear or greed to influence an important decision in the recent past?
Have you tried to predict a particular path for your life that just wasn’t meant to be?
Ok, here’s my point…WORRY IS A WASTE! Not only does it detract from the present but it steals from the future. As an American economy we have allowed the media to exercise an disproportinate amount of control over our emotions simply by speculation over interest rates. Emotions are wonderful for communication purposes but they stink as a basis for decisions. We are all emotional human beings, some more so than others. We are prone to influence and even to being influenced. It is important to remember that the media is in business to arouse emotions.
Picture a pendulum. On one side rests fear and on the other greed. If this “emotional pendulum” is swinging back and forth and you must stop it at the precise point where you feel you can make a good decision….I bet you can guess the point that will most likely lead to a favorable outcome! That is the point you want to be when it comes to making your next decision.