However, there are general guidelines to complex systems that we can apply to relationships to make them easier for our simple minds to grasp.
The stock market is one of the more popular complex systems today, which we can use for this purpose.
Monitoring behaviours, movements and roles that occur in the stock market, we may be able to better understand why we are attracted to certain types of people, why certain people are attracted to us, how we can improve our strategies and who we are, hypothetically, best suited for in varying life circumstances.
We might even forecast with a certain degree of certainty the messy trajectory of our all-too-human hearts.
In each relationship, one person is predominantly the Investor while the other is predominantly the Stock. While both are investing in each other in some way, to a certain degree, the Investor has more to lose than the Stock.
Likewise, while both are proving their value to each other in some way, the Stock has more to prove than the Investor.
In general you are the Investor if you are more attracted to people based on their ability keep up with you and/or make you look better. You are the Stock if you are more attracted to people who have the ability to support you, better you or otherwise believe in you.
It is neither better nor worse to be the Investor or the Stock because both roles come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You play these roles based on the cards life has dealt you and what you have done with them so far.
Stocks and Investors can morph into different types and even switch or play dual roles simultaneously throughout their lifetimes.
The success of each relationship primarily hinges on market circumstances when an Investor decides to invest in a certain type of Stock.
Disturbing environments breed disturbing relationships, smart environments breed smart relationships, unnatural environments breed unnatural relationships, rich environments breed rich relationships, lazy environments breed lazy relationships.
“Investors” put their money into stocks, real estate, etc., under the assumption that over time, the underlying investment will increase in value, and the investment will be profitable.
Typically, investors do not have a plan for what to do if the investment decreases in value. They hold onto the investment in hopes it will bounce back and again become a winner.
Investors anticipate declining markets with fear and anxiety, but usually do not plan ahead of time how they will respond to them. When faced with a declining (bear) market, they hold their positions and continue to lose.
We all know investors. In many cases it was us before we realized how dangerous buy-and-hold investing can be to our savings.
Investors do have some knowledge of trading. But that knowledge is tainted by how it is all too often described in the financial press. “Trading” is risky, dangerous, foolish, bad, involves a great deal of work, etc. On the other hand “investing” is good, reliable and safe.
“2000-2002 Nasdaq Bear market – It will take a 250% gain to make up the losses in Nasdaq investments”
Investors had a taste of what “buy-and-hold” can do to their capital in the recent 2000-2002 bear market. But many do not realize just how far in the hole that bear market put them. The S&P 500 declined 50% and the Nasdaq declined 80%. How easy is it for the markets to regain those losses?
It will take a 100% gain to make up the losses for those invested in in the S&P. It will take a 250% gain to make up the losses in Nasdaq investments. When a powerful advance is measured in 20% to 30% moves, you can easily see how long it will take to regain those huge losses.
In the last several years of market gains, we have come nowhere near accomplishing this in the typical index fund. It is likely to take investors many more years to get back just to where they were in 2000.
Relationships are powerful. Our one-to-one connections with each other are the foundation for change. And building relationships with people from different cultures, often many different cultures, is key in building diverse communities that are powerful enough to achieve significant goals.
It is our connection to each other that gives meaning to our lives. Our caring for each other is often what motivates us to make change. And establishing connections with people from diverse backgrounds can be key in making significant changes in our communities.
As individuals, and in groups, we can change our communities. We can set up neighborhoods and institutions in which people commit themselves to working to form strong relationships and alliances with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. We can establish networks and coalitions in which people are knowledgeable about each other’s struggles, and are willing to lend a hand.
Technology and The Internet of Things (IoT) is an amazing innovation. But even as it’s shrunk the world and brought us closer together, it’s threatened to push us further apart. Like any useful technology innovation, to make technology serve us well requires the exercise of good judgment.