STOP! Don't Invest in the stock market Invest in yourself

Deedra Hunter, M.S., LMHC

I sat in the closet clutching 3 scared small children as we listened to the winds of hurricane Andrew greedily chewing up every material possession in our soon to be completely destroyed house. I had no idea, at that moment, the most frequently asked question about that night would be “what were you thinking?”

I sat by my big tree in the backyard of our Miami lake house and sobbed as I had never sobbed before in my life. I had just made the decision to get a divorce. The beautiful solid tree that my little children had swung from, that wonderful tree I thought I would grow old under, was now going to grow old without me. Everything I thought was certain was not. And again, I had no idea the most frequently asked question about that day would be” what were you thinking?”

My answer was the same in both separate instances and it is the same answer I have when people ask what am I thinking about todays financial distress the country is in: “ I was thinking “thank God, literally I had the foresight to invest in myself and get a masters degree.”
Are you shocked? Do you think it should have been more philosophical, more romantic, more altruistic?

The reality of both those life altering situations is that everything I had worked to accumulate financially was either destroyed or at risk. But no one, no government, no outside unseen force could destroy what I had invested in myself.

If you can contain your fear and muster the courage from deep inside yourself now is exactly the most wonderful opportune time to forget investing in the stock market and invest in you. Perhaps it is time to invest in those extra courses preparing you to be that one person with extra knowledge and skills in your company leading yourself and co-workers back into the good times ahead. It may be the perfect time to go into therapy and understand the deeper parts of your personality so you don’t panic and run away when it is darkest just before you are about to enjoy a glorious new dawn. Another investment to make may be in a life coach or business coach who could guide you to levels of success you had only secretly thought you would do “some day when the time was right” .Well “some day” has come. Stop investing in the things outside yourself that you can’t control. I would like to invite you to realize the only worthwhile investment to make today is an investment totally in your control -the investment in you.

I think you will be fortunate indeed if you can answer the question “what were you thinking when our economy looked so bleak back in 2008” with “I took full advantage of what everyone else thought was a bad time and made it a good time by making the one investment I will always have. I invested in me!”

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