Back in my younger days, before I was lucky enough to start dating the man who is now my dear husband, I tried online dating for a short spell. I went on a date with a guy who cried the entire time into his beer about his recent split from his (ex)girlfriend. I went on another date with a guy who, after I told him I wasn’t interested, hid in the bushes outside of my apartment for a few days. (Police said because he wasn’t threatening me and the bushes were on county property, they couldn’t do anything. That’s a story for another day). Here is a picture of Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes so you an experience how creeped out I was…
I had a few other weird encounters as well. So, suffice it to say, I know a little bit about the world of online dating (at least in the olden times circa 2009 pre-Tinder. I’m old, I know).
Now, as an investment advisor, I am always vigilantly watching and analyzing the stock market. Recently, it dawned one me: the market, in a lot of ways, is like online dating.
So, today I’d like to share with you the 15 ways that the stock market is like online dating, and how investments are like potential suitors:
- History usually repeats itself. Markets are cyclical. Just like potential suitors, you can count on them to revert back to their (previous/true) selves for a stretch every once in a while, no matter what kind of upswing they’ve been on for a while. How long is the stretch though? If I had a crystal ball and could you tell you that, I’d be a very rich woman. The great news is that the stock market usually bounces back. Significant others, though? That remains to be seen, depending on the individual in question.Yes, you usually are.
- Figuring out what you don’t want and avoiding it is a great strategy for long-term success. What do I mean? In investing, research shows that figuring out what the worst sectors (like technology or utilities, for example) are for long-term outlook (performance) and avoiding investing in them is a better strategy for performance of your portfolio than than strictly looking for the best investments based on positive markers alone. The same goes with weeding through online dating options. If you can, first, sift out the ones that have traits that you really dislike (dishonesty, bad grammar, smoking, cheating, lazy, etc.), you’ll have a much easier time picking the best ones from the group you have left.
- Marketing doesn’t always match the facts. What a company (or potential suitor) says about himself/herself may not be true once you get to know them a little bit better. For example, analysts have found that some of the self-reporting on finances from certain non-U.S. countries hasn’t turned out to be 100% fact-based. Comparatively, many of us who have experienced online dating know from personal experience that what someone says about themselves in their profile is also not 100% fact-based. So, doing further research is always a good idea. In finance, we call this due diligence. The word due diligence also works for dating, since nowadays we can look up different social media accounts and learn a great deal about someone we don’t know personally.
- You can do all of the due diligence you want, but you really don’t know the potential suitor or investment until you are “in bed with them.” Potential love interests are on their best behavior in the beginning. So you can do all of the research you want on them, but until you spend time with them getting to know them, you don’t really know them. This is also true with a potential investment. You can have completed all of the due diligence in the world, but nothing is guaranteed. You won’t know the outcome of the investment until you put it in your investment portfolio.
- Sometimes the performance is a disappointment. All signs may have pointed to him or her being great, but when the rubber meets the road, he/she tanks. Same could be said for an investment you chose, unfortunately.
- Reliability of an investment (or a potential suitor) and excitement don’t usually go hand in hand. If you are looking for reliability and stability, jumping on to the new and exciting investment isn’t usually the way to go. Have you ever heard the saying of, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?” Well, I’m here to tell you not to “put all of your eggs in the bad boy basket.” Bad boys may seem exciting, but they are a big risk because they could turn out to be a total crash-and-burn, and they definitely aren’t easy to predict. In the stock market, take Bitcoin (crypto-currency) as an example. Crypto currency was exciting and new and “bad-ass” but look where things are now. With big highs also comes big lows.
- The strong ones have a long way to fall. Take General Electric’s (GE) stock as an example. It used to be seen as a safe, stable investment, however, it tanked big time recently. GE is like the frat boy born into a good family whose profile picture shows him with his lax bros in college. You thought he would always just be stable: go to work, drink beer and watch football. But one day he gets a DUI and then he’s jobless and in jail with a long road ahead of him to get back to his former glory.
- All it takes is one insensitive political statement or unsolicited inappropriate picture to take down the whole man/company. This one pretty much speaks for itself. Both in your personal life and professional life, be careful what you do. All it takes is one misspoken word, tweet or text to go from “highly regarded” to “bottom-of-the-barrell.”
- If an investment or a potential suitor looks to good to be true, they usually are. Don’t fall for the “too good to be true” ones. You’ll just get your heart and/or wallet broken!
- What their friends say about them in the beginning is usually never true. In investments, when someone who will benefit financially from your purchase tells you it’s great, it’s always important to take their advice with a grain of salt. The same can be said for the friends of your potential suitor. Even though they don’t benefit (tangibly) in some way as a result of you dating their friend, they likely won’t tell you the whole truth about the potential suitor due to their loyalty.
- Everyone has an opinion and they are all different. Lots of people have opinions about the stock market, online dating, potential suitors, and individual investments. However, even the ones who claim to be “love experts” or “market experts” aren’t right all of the time.
- Sometimes the undervalued ones are the greatest dark horses in the race. In finance, we spend a lot of time trying to find “undervalued stocks” to invest in, so we can take advantage of when they reach their full potential. The same can be said for potential suitors. My friend’s grandma used to always tell her, “Find a man with great potential.” Sometimes, finding a potential suitor as they are still working to be their best selves can payoff in the greatest way, as you grow and become your best selves together.
- Finding one with the best potential (undervalued) is a great strategy if you are willing to put in the time and the work. In investments, some people believe in what is called the “Buy and Hold Strategy.” This means that they believe that if you buy a basket of investments and hold them over a long period of time, the net result will be positive. However, this strategy isn’t suited for the impatient investor, who feels compelled to get rid of an investment impulsively depending on the day. The same can be said in your love life. If you are an impatient person, investing your time and emotions into someone who has yet to reach their potential may not be the right strategy for you. However, if you are willing to put in the time, you could end up with an amazing outcome in your love life! Don’t be like this guy:
- Having expectations can be a dangerous thing. This is true both for your investments and your potential suitor. Try to enter in with an open mind, after having done all of your due diligence, knowing that it’s never fully possible to predict the future 100%. For both your money and your heart I suggest two important things: 1. Make the best choice possible based on your goals and dreams. And 2. engage the help of professionals when you need it!
- Just when you least expect it, the stock market or the online dating community can surprise you in the best way. Some days, you will wake up and be pleasantly surprised by the performance of the stock market, and thus, your investments. The same can be said for the online dating world. Some days, you will wake up to pleasant messages and wonderful potential suitors, and have very positive experiences that might change your life.
Wishing you all of the love and financial health in the world,