Jonathan Satovsky discusses mindfulness, March Madness and the math of money. He explains how awareness, discipline and collaboration are essential to building wealth over time.
Good afternoon. This is Jonathan Satovsky of Satovsky Asset Management. March 2019 with a video blog update.
Today, I wanted to talk about mindfulness, March Madness, and the math of money.
So we’ll start with mindfulness with a wonderful quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn – the idea that mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.
This relates to March Madness because we’re about to come upon the hoops season and the tournament of 64 teams vying for a national title, a six game run to glory.
It’s going to require a tremendous amount of awareness, teamwork, discipline and collaboration by a team to be able to push through obstacles during a six-game journey over a three weekend series. And this is going to be a tremendous time where you’re going to see tremendous talent, but it’s my prediction that the team that plays with the most collaboration and discipline together will win.
Why do I talk about that, and how does that relate to money?
Well, March of 2019 is the 10 year anniversary of a tremendous bull market in the United States with close to 400% gains in the U.S. financial markets, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, and 500% gains by the Nasdaq, which is a more technology latent index.
Meanwhile, I’m mindful that emerging markets had a more meger 160% rise in the last decade, and a globally diversified 60/40 portfolio in the same realm about 180% rise.
So, I’m mindfully aware that I’m grateful that people have had gains last 10 years, it’s been a wonderful 10 years. But being in the present moment, that leads people to a lot of emotional decision making of regret or angst of what they didn’t do or what they should be doing in the decade ahead.
And, I’ll share the quote by Viktor Frankl, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
And sharing a little bit more of a history perspective, if I reel back the lens 20 years in the math of money, you can see that the talent, if you are evaluating in the basketball analogy, the most talented asset or asset class on the last 20 years would have been emerging markets with close to a 400% gain. And, tied in the last 20 years the globally diversified 60/40 portfolio, the S&P 500, of the Nasdaq, virtually broke even over the same 20 year period of time.
So I’m mindfully aware that depending on the lens through which you’re measuring success or failure, a day, a week, a year, 10 years, 20 years is going to define your lifetime success.
So in the basketball season, I would encourage whether you are working with a coach in basketball or you’re working with a financial advisory coach or a behavioral coach, the whole idea is to deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguous situations.
And in that, the ability to be self aware and to be able to move forward calmly in the present moment, ignoring the past and being mindful of the best next decision toward someone’s future, is something that can help someone in hoops and with their money.
And with that, go Blue!