Michelle Singletary, money columnist for the Washington post had a great column in this Sunday’s paper titled, Four lessons from the stock market if you’re looking for love. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Yet it has great value to anyone who may soon get into that blissful state, where they forget that exciting romance doesn’t last forever, and financial security is a pretty big turn on when travelling through life with someone. Just imagine a life without it? And do that now, before you fall in lust and lose your head.
This is the point that Ms. Singletary makes (very well) in her piece. She uses lessons from the stock market as her frame—and they are actually a great guide when evaluating someone’s rightness or wrongness for you.
The first lesson is that you need to have a plan, one that takes you through the ups and down of the stock market—and a shared life together. If not, you may end up with someone you are not financially compatible with and life will be a constant struggle of savings VS spending, debt VS security.
The second is to not let your emotions cloud your judgment. If you panic when the stock market falls and get too comfortable when it is on a roll, you may lose sight of the bigger and healthier picture and make the wrong moves. When choosing a mate, you don’t want to overlook or ignore red flags that seem so unimportant when you are head over heels, but will be waving brightly when the hormones and highs of love subside. Imagine struggling through life, living hand to mouth, never having enough to take a real vacation, live where and as you want and/or retire someday.
The third is don’t take more risk than you can afford. Ms. Singletary states that staying with someone who doesn’t have your financial values will leave you frustrated at best and struggling and miserable when you have never had a plan and never have enough.
The fourth is manage your expectations. If you choose someone who has certain traits that concern you but expect this will change later on—you will be very disappointed when this doesn’t happen. Don’t expect anything you don’t see and know is actually there. Love does not conquer all.
As usual, Ms. Singletary delivers some sound financial, and in this case, relationship advice. Check her out on Washingtonpost.com.