Gabriela is the Founder of the Latino Wall Street movement, which provides financial education to the Latino community.
There isn’t a textbook in the world that can prepare you properly for marriage and the commitment of a lifetime to another human being. Marriage is a union between two people that is not meant to be broken; rather, you are meant to lift each other up when times get difficult. I was fortunate enough to marry my best friend, mentor and business partner last month. I would like to share how trading and investing has prepared me for this kind of spiritual union.
As the founder of a movement that provides financial education in Spanish to the Latino community, I have eaten, slept and breathed the stock market for a long time. But, more than a financial tool, the stock market has transformed my life — my mentality and my thinking. That’s why I want to share with you three things the stock market taught me about marriage:
1. Discipline: When trading the markets, you have to constantly anticipate stock fluctuations and stay consistent with your strategy, even when it seems difficult. Your situation is unique, which is why you need to stay loyal to your plan and nobody else’s. Discipline is nonnegotiable.
Similarly in marriage, you must anticipate and understand your partner’s emotions to connect, prepare for special occasions to nurture your relationship and stay committed in all endeavors.
For example, for our wedding waltz, my husband and I rehearsed every weekend for months to perfect the performance. In this case, anticipating the dance moves, being consistent with rehearsals and focusing on our own steps without getting distracted by the other’s was key for a successful performance.
2. Compromise: In the stock market, when a short-term trade doesn’t go the right way, you need to be willing to take the loss. It has to be planned ahead, and you can’t let your emotions ruin your day. A stop loss is crucial when it comes to risk management, which is something I always teach and emphasize in my investment courses.
Naturally, throwing a wedding in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic required immense compromise. For example, we had 20 guests instead of 200. We honeymooned locally in Puerto Rico because our Hawaii couples retreat experience was cancelled. We had to host our dinner the night before in a restaurant because of government restrictions on capacity.
Being able to manage risk in finances taught me that compromise is acceptable and expected. Balancing risk-reward ratios is one of the most valuable life skills to have. Most important, however, is to plan ahead, adjust to your circumstances and stay centered. These are all crucial to succeed — in relationships and in trading the markets.
3. Patience: When your long-term investment is temporarily down, it’s easy to want to get out and exit the market. “What if it goes down even further, and I lose all my money?” I hear this all the time. As humans, we are trained to see red as danger. If you are in a solid stock for the long run, you have to stick with that and respect your plan and strategy. You have to be patient to witness the biggest payoffs of all — something that is so unnatural to us because humans are trained to want results “immediately,” especially nowadays with technology.
We wanted to get married within three months of the day of the proposal. Our coach advised us to wait after the year mark, to go through every season together and really learn about each other. Bumps are and will always be on the road of every journey, but if those down moments make us stronger and we always put love first, there is no reason to give up or get off the roller coaster called marriage.
Anyone can accomplish small things, such as a short-term relationship or a quick day trade. Having patience is key for accomplishing big things, such as long-term investments and marriage. It’s the daily actions that count. Sometimes, they’re so small they can’t be seen. But over months and years, they culminate into something beyond your dreams. Patience is a must.
You Can Have Your Dream Life
The stock market has completely transformed my business life, decision-making process and overall patience with the things happening within my life. I was still able to have the wedding of my dreams, marrying the man I want to spend eternity with. It’s possible to have your cake and eat it, too. It just requires discipline, compromise and patience. You can live your dream life, too. Just make sure you apply these practices every day in all areas of your life, especially in finance and love.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.