Free of tension (The Financial Athlete #104)

My Pilates instructor told the class, “Lock your hips. Now walk with the hips locked.”

After the class walked around the room in this unnatural way, she asked, “”What did it feel like?”

“Tension,” someone volunteered.

“Yes. Tension. And there are people who carry this tension by locking their hips as they walk. The natural way to walk is to move slightly the left hip forward with every step of the left foot and to move slightly the right hip forward with every step of the right foot. To lock the hips is to cut of the flow of energy in the body. This creates tension.”

And so on that day we learned how to walk without tension in the pelvic area.


An investor of stocks inadvertently invites tension in his life with a purchase of  a thinly traded stock, or for a stock of a company operating deep in the red or with a poor Balance Sheet. Real estate investors also invite tension with the purchase of a vacant, commercial property in a ghost town, or for a home priced high to reflect a market with exorbitant ratios of medium home prices to medium rents,  and medium home prices to medium income.

In a metaphysical sense, many stocks and real estate carry “bad karma”. When you buy it, you take on some of this “bad karma”. The more you buy, the more of this karma you take on. Stated conventionally, the problems plaguing the company or property become your problems.

Why is an investor attracted to toxic assets? He craves drama in his life. He welcomes the tension to fight boredom, and in his dreamy mind all this tension will end happily-ever-after with a miraculous turnaround.

Don’t invest to kill boredom. Play ball for that.

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” — Warren Buffett

(Above picture: Dance Hermitage by Matisse)


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