COMMENTARY | I'm a big believer in the philosophy that you get what you expect to get. It's the ancient idea of "self-fulfilling prophesy."
Ever since I started predicting financial prosperity for my family, I've noticed my husband and I are working harder than ever to make sure it actually happens.
In many cases, it's our positive attitudes that have helped us avoid financial pitfalls such as selling stocks at a loss. And, we watched our net worth increase instead of decrease during the recession.
I've heard some financial experts talk about surviving financially during an age of pessimism. I know I've had to put extra effort into remaining upbeat and positive about the future, especially as I've watched dozens of people get laid off from their jobs during the recession. We know we can't draw wealth with a poverty mentality.
Believing in long-term investing
I'd be tempted to sell all my stocks and hide my money under the mattress if it weren't for the fact that I'm an optimist. I believe in buying more shares of stocks during bear markets. At the same time, I've learned that I have to put plenty of money in a cash position as well. I didn't lose any money during the stock market crash of 2008 because I didn't panic sell. I was able to get back to even. Now, I'm relying on dividends so that my account will grow so I can meet my retirement goal of having $500,000.
Looking at the bright side of housing
Several of my neighbors sold their homes through short sales because they are tired of waiting for a housing recovery that never appears. We were underwater on our mortgage for two years. Still, I look at the bright side. We are paying the lowest property taxes I've ever paid in my life. Because interest rates are low, our mortgage payment was reduced. Now it's easy for us to pay off our mortgage in half the time.
Enjoying what I do for a living
I don't view work as a punishment. I think of it as a privilege to have a job. Experts say people who retire early also die earlier than their peers who work to their full retirement age or beyond. I have always viewed my work as a pleasure in life. It's not something I want to avoid. Many of the finically successful people I know have the same optimistic view of their careers. Some even consider it their job a "calling."
Investing in ourselves with education
My husband and I invest in our children as well as ourselves. We believe it's our duty as parents to help them complete college so they can be self-sufficient and successful. We also teach our children how to invest. My husband wasn't sure whether it was worth it to take evening classes to finish his master's degree. Now, he is glad he followed through with the degree since the research skills help him with the job he obtained after getting the master's degree. We weren't sure how we could afford college for our sons, but we remained optimistic and it's all working out fine.
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