From unclear work hours amidst a raging pandemic to “zoom fatigue”, we came face to face with the old pains of stress and anxiety in new garbs during this last year and a half. Many of us turned to deep breathing meditation as an answer.  Whether it was in the form of yoga or the multitude of mindfulness and meditation apps available.

The effectiveness of breath meditation, a key aspect of yoga, in relieving stress, has been proven many times over. This research paper explores how the breath and our emotional states are connected.

So why are we talking about meditation and the breath on a finance blog?

Well, we believe that the simple act of breathing can teach us a thing or two about investing and managing our wealth.

Our breath often indicates our emotional and physical state. We breathe hard when engaged in strenuous physical activity, or when we panic. Our breathing tends to be soft and shallow when we are asleep or feeling calm.  Our breathing patterns constantly adapt as the situation and the body demands. We breathe as long as we are alive.

In the same vein, there are curious similarities between good breathing techniques and good investing techniques. This yoga day let’s explore these similarities.

Lesson #1

Slow, deep, and steady breathing is the secret to a calm mind. Slow, steady, and sufficient investing is the secret to financial peace of mind.

Lesson #2

Erratic is not effective when it comes to breathing. It’s the same with investing. Erratic breathing can put us in a state of fight or flight. Erratic investing based on market ups and downs can lead us away from our long-term financial plan.

Lesson #3

Our breathing changes with the needs of our bodies and circumstances. Similarly,  we need to change how much and where we invest as our goals and income change.

Lesson #4

You can learn to breathe well at any age. You can learn how to invest well too,  no matter when you started.

Lesson #5

When underwater, we can hold our breath. For how long, depends on how well our lungs have been treated and trained. Think of your emergency fund as your lungs, that can keep you alive when you are underwater, financially.

Lesson #6

Simply breathing in a certain way can calm us instantly. Simply investing with the right asset allocation can help you stay calm, no matter what the market condition or fluctuations.

So let’s take a deep breath, sit down,  and invest the way we should breathe – steady, calm, and with a sense of purpose.