Economic Doom, Predictions & Hunches: How to Find True Safety in Turbulent Times
Doom and gloom. Economic collapse. Predictions of a global recession beyond our imagination.
These are the things we read on a daily basis. I wanted to center today’s blog post around this topic for two reasons. First, a formerly successful Wall Street trader apparently committed suicide by swallowing cyanide pills right after he was found guilty of arson and was about to face up to 16 years in prison. Michael James Marin, owner of a multi- million dollar Biltmore Estates mansion in Phoenix, appeared to swallow something that triggered convulsions directly after the verdict was read. He died on his way to the hospital.
Marin graduated from Yale Law School, and once successfully climbed Mount Everest. What brought such a seemingly strong and successful, disciplined man to such a point of desperation? No one can say for sure, but the evidence of recent circumstances points to the possibility that he found himself unable to pay the $17,500 monthly mortgage on his home and then decided to burn it down, possibly for the insurance payout. He was charged with arson of an occupied structure.
The YouTube videos depicting his sentencing and his subsequent suicide are all over the internet. Yes, we’ve come to the place in technology where we can watch a man die on a video, almost as if it should not be a horrifically shocking scene to us. As I read the articles and stories that unfolded regarding the event, I had to reflect on the fact that our society, to a large degree, is driven by the success that money can offer. If, in fact, Michael Marin committed suicide due to the pressure that came from finances bearing down on him, it is a very sad and tragic decision that he has made, and that’s what brings me to write this post today. I wish I would have been able to speak to him while he was alive, and offer him hope.
Along with this news story, I also noticed that a Facebook friend of mine had posted an article on my wall regarding the possibility of global recession. The article is from one of those websites that feeds off of doomsday predictions, selling their fear-based message in books and videos by the millions.
The Facebook friend also posted this message, “What would Bryan Binkholder do?” Of course, I can’t let this go without reply, and here it is!
Uncertainty…It’s Nothing New
There are several key points when it comes to uncertainty and especially predictions of doom and gloom. Now, there’s nothing wrong with keeping up to date with what’s going on with the world around us, good news and bad, –it’s all part of life. The problem lies when we start to obsess or allow a negative thought to take over.
Let’s look at the predictions of the recession. We are definitely aware of the details so I’m not going to get into a debate or speculation of how or when it will happen. I believe people waste a huge amount of time and energy, and cause unnecessary stress to themselves and their families by focusing on the uncertainty of life.
Should we prepare for a recession? We should always be prepared for whatever comes our way. But with everything there is a balance we need to keep, and a perspective. We cannot be so attached to the things of this world, money, material possessions, or a certain way of life that we absolutely crumble with despair if these things are removed for our lives for a season. As a business advisor and The Financial Coach, I’m involved in topics pertaining to Wall Street, investing and finances every day of my life, but I’m not reliant on finances. What I’m saying is, finances are not my God. I do the best I can to prepare, –I use wisdom and sound investment principles. I have multiple streams of income and I don’t spend more than I make. I aggressively save. But ultimately, my hope and my security do not rest in my finances. So, if you want to know “What Bryan Binkholder Would Do” I would have to advise you to go one level higher in your thinking.
One Level Higher
Whenever I’m looking for the answers to something that seems to have no answer, I go one level higher. Let me explain by talking about turbulence.
Airplane turbulence isn’t as dangerous as it might seem but anyone who’s experienced it on a flight knows that sometimes it can feel like you’re going to bounce right out of the sky. It can be a very scary experience. Pilots are equipped with the knowledge that regardless of what it feels like, turbulence isn’t going to cause a plane to crash. It may shake you and rattle your nerves, but the way to deal with turbulence is to climb. By going up to a higher altitude, a pilot can ride above the storm and above the circumstances causing the turbulence.
We can climb above the turbulence in our own lives.
If your reliance or your “be-all, end-all” is financial success, then you have nowhere to climb higher to, so if your finances fall apart you are in ruins. Amazing thoughts coming from a financial coach, right? Finances are important and I talk about making the most of them, but finances aren’t my God.
When I am confronted with turbulent times, uncertainty, and the possibility of disaster, I steady myself by knowing that I rely on a Creator who has taken my family and myself through the good times and the bad, and has always been there. When I need to make sense of things, –when there seems to be no answer, I have the assurance that there is Someone who does have the answers. At the end of the day, at the end of my life, whether I am a millionaire or have just enough to get by, I have the certainty of my relationship with my Creator.
I know that not everyone who reads my blog is a believer or has a foundation built on faith. For those, I don’t have the answers. All I know is what works for me. I don’t worry about a global recession or what will become of me and my family. I prepare. I save. I do what I know to be right, but ultimately I don’t rely on myself, and that takes all the weight and pressure off of myself. God has always been faithful to me. I’ve never been in lack. Some times are leaner and some are more prosperous. We all will go through seasons in our life.
The pressure that Michael Marin experienced must have been immense to go to such great lengths. I am not attempting to judge where he was in his faith, but I do know that the pressures and the cares of this world can be unbearable if we don’t have something to “do with the cares”, somewhere to put them. I give my cares, burdens and uncertainty to the One who holds my future.
I hope this has been food for thought today. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t give you the full picture of where my hope and strength comes from. For the most part, when you see me and hear me, I am talking about investment strategies. It’s important that you see all sides. Are my finances in order? Absolutely. Do I work hard and do my best to make prudent decisions? Of course. Is that where my hope and security ultimately lies? Absolutely not.
Bryan Binkholder, The Financial Coach, is an author, radio show host, advisor, motivational speaker, and catalyst for change in the financial services industry. Bryan is best known for exposing the inner workings of Wall Street and bringing clarity to common investment misconceptions. Be sure to take advantage of his two most popular resources: 7 Deadly Traps of Investing and The Six Pitfalls of Retirement Planning and continue to follow his blog.