Dealing with Envy

By Gabriel S. Delgado C. from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela (Envidia / Envy: Eyes don’t lie Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sleep per Day: (Target) 7h30m / day (Actual) 7h24m / day (69 day average)

A friend of mine got a great opportunity recently (can’t disclose anymore as the information is still not publicly announced yet), and I felt very weird.

I actually felt envious, and I hated myself for feeling that way.

Especially when I keep telling people one of my favourite quotes of all time is “Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy.” So by feeling envious I was being a hypocrite.

But I’m thankful that that quote is one of my favourite quotes. Constantly reciting the line and pondering upon it has allowed the sense of envy reside and the lesson internalize even better.

As Forrest Gump said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” It is after all not what circumstances you get in life that defines a life well lived, but how you deal with the circumstances in life that defines a life well lived.

And it just reminds me of the anchoring bias that our brain is wired to operate. Based on the circumstances, it would seem unfair that he would get the great opportunity rather than me considering the similar competence, but compared to the rest of Hong Kong it would be unfair that I had parents who could afford us to go to international school and university, and compared to the rest of the world it would be unfair that I can enjoy the delights and conveniences of urban life.

And I think it’s a great lesson for me as an investor too.

The recent selloff has seemingly stopped, and the bounce back has actually caused the under-valued stocks in my 74 stocks watch list to drop from 6 to 4.

Although it seems like I missed a great opportunity to buy because I’m strict on the monthly buying discipline (1st day each month), I’m reminded again by David Merkel in his article “When to Deploy Capital” that “Investing has to be done on a “good enough” basis“. There is no perfection in investing, only good enough, and I’ll have to live with that and be happy that I’m sticking to my investment discipline even though others are making lots of paper gains after buying from the dips.

After all, “Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy.

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