Just a few weeks out, Juan can already say that the Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1) is a massive success in terms of box office sales. If you’ve been watching the MCU movies leading up to it, then this latest installment is a must watch. Just prepare your heart. Personally, I have only watched it once (so far), and I do plan on watching it again (and again). After seeing it, and talking about it with my charitable Ilocana and some friends, trying to process the trauma we just endured (kidding!), it dawned on me that there are a few money and life lessons that can be learned from the movie (yeah I know, corny, that’s how my brain works). Much like the 6 infinity stones, here are 6 money and life lessons to be gleaned from Avengers: Infinity Wars.
Caveats first. One, I am not an MCU geek, I’ve watched the previous movies once or twice (fine, thrice) but I did not read any of the comic books or other related literatures. So please don’t be offended if I describe anything or anyone too simplistically. Two, spoiler alert, spoilers ahead. I hope by this time you’ve watched the movie. If you have no plans, I do hope you keep on reading, I will make sure you can still relate even if you haven’t seen the movie. Here we go.
Basically Thanos was collecting the 6 infinity stones (Mind, Soul, Space, Power, Time and Reality), held by various entities, hidden in unheard places across the universe, for thousands of years. With all the infinity stones together in Thanos’ gauntlet, he can wield the power of all the stones and the synergy it provides. Together, it will give him immeasurable power, enough to destroy universes with a snap of a finger. That’s why heroes of the earth, the universe rather, fought long and hard to keep the stones from the hands of this madman.
Basically, our heroes are trying to avoid concentration risk, too much power in the hands of one person with evil plans (at least from our point of view, as the directors say villains are heroes in their own stories). Similarly, we should avoid concentration risk with our money. How? Through diversification. Through well thought of investments, by not putting all our money in one basket.
Juan can achieve diversification by putting various amounts in various investments, whether market-driven (stocks, managed funds), rates driven (bonds, high yield deposits), making sure our health and a$$es are covered when we kick the bucket (insurance) plus healthy exposures in businesses, crowdfunding and real estate. The goal of diversification is to spread out your risks, so that when one investment turns sour (cyclical or for good), you still have other investments that can work hard for you. Like the past months, investments in stocks and managed funds have been losing value due to the ongoing market correction. But if Juan is well-diversified, he can still achieve investments growth through other vehicles not correlated to the movements of the market. (Click here to learn the suggested split for bonds and stocks in your portfolio).
DIversify. Don’t put all your eggs (or infinity stones) in one basket (or in the infinity gauntlet).
2. MONEY IS A TOOL
The various infinity stones can be used for the good and the bad (at least from what I’ve seen). It contains power and its impact depends on who wields it. It is a tool. The previous possessors such as Doctor Strange (time stone), Vision (mind stone) and the Power stone all showed that there is potential for the stones to be used for the good.
In the same manner, money is a tool.
In itself, it is neutral, neither good nor bad. Bo Sanchez taught me that money, as a tool, magnifies what’s inside of us, our deepest desires, our heart of hearts. Money is not evil, the wrong use of money is evil. Man’s misplaced desire for money is evil. But if man’s innately good (as we were taught in school), then as long as the goodness prevails in that man, then money can magnify the goodness in that man through what he does. Now it is you who decides. Will more money in you bring more evil or more good to the world?
Money is a tool. It can be used for the good or the bad, depending on who wields it. Now, which side are you on?
3. PLAYING THE LONG GAME
After Doctor Strange has seen the odds of them winning against Thanos (I think this time Juan has a better chance of winning the lotto), he told Iron Man that “we’re in the endgame now.” What’s that supposed to mean? Is it like the last 2 minutes in a basketball game? It is winning time? Crunch time? Will it be the title of the Part 2? Whatever it means, I’ll leave it to the next movie for us to the decipher. But basing on Doctor Strange’s character, the logical right-brained surgeon with a swag that he was, upon seeing that they only had 1 in 14-million odds of winning against Thanos, he still gave up the Time stone. Why?
For me, Doctor Strange was playing the long game. If it’s the endgame now, then he’s playing to win that 1 in 14-million chance, he’s not playing to lose. Even if that means taking losses now. He knew that the only way to win was to give it up for now, even it meant dying alongside with Spiderman, Star Lord, Black Panther, etc. Even if that means losing some battles along the way, as long as they win the war. It’s infinity war after all, not infinity battles. Well that’s just my theory.
In investments, Juan must always remember that it’s risk management first, profits second. Juan must play the long game too, be wise in his investment decisions (and stocks trades) and not to let FOMO, revenge trading or greed dictate his decisions. Juan must learn how to cut losses. Cutting losses enables Juan to fight another day. It’s also good for Juan’s trading mindset. Nursing deep losses erodes Juan’s confidence, plus limits his money into pursuing other profitable plays. In stocks trading in particular, Juan trades to win and to gain, not to prove himself correct. He will make a mistake, a wrong trade, the preset cut-losses then will enable him to move on, admit his mistakes, keep his losses small, refine the strategy and try again, without losing the war.
In fact, in Minervini’s Stock Market Wizards book, he says that a hit rate of 40% is very high already. It’s not about being right all the time, you just need to be right 2 out of 5 times. It’s about the ability to take small losses, and ensure that amount of gains is higher than the amount of losses, even if in terms of trades count, you lose small in 60% of trades.
As Aaron brown says,
Stay in the game. Play the long game. Don’t let wrong trades obliterate your capital. Risk management first, profits second. Cut losses.
4. SACRIFICES ARE NEEDED
Thanos sacrificed a lot to achieve his mission in life. He waited 18 movies before this one! Settling for post-credit scenes along the way! 🙂 When asked what it cost him, he said “Everything.” Thanos located and collected the infinity stones one by one, costing him resources and even “children” along the way. Nonetheless, he knew how to strike hard when the opportune time came. He did not waste his chances to carry out what he wanted to do. He was preparing along the way, getting ready. And when the perfect time came, “pinuruhan nya.”
Fortunately for us, we don’t need to sacrifice lives just for us to achieve our missions and aspirations in life. Nonetheless, all good things take time to build. The journey to financial freedom takes time. Attaining self-discipline and delay of gratification in managing Juan’s savings, expenses and debt takes time. Learning various investment options, though not rocket science, entails some studying (we explain them in layman’s terms promise!) and entails going out of comfort zones. Remember, if you’re comfortable, you’re not growing.
Nothing worth pursuing comes so easily. Mastering stocks trading takes a lot of time and practice, giving up other parts of your life as sacrifice for now for a better financial standing in the future — like social media, DOTA, Netflix, less sleep, etc., as what we’ve learned again and again from successful full-time traders. Remember the 10,000 hours concept in Outliers?
Want to be lucky in life? Then you ought to prepare, sacrifice, spend time and effort in preparing for that opportune time may it be in your jobs, trade set-ups, other investment or business opportunities etc. After all, luck is the offspring of preparedness + opportunity. No offense meant but as others would say, “kung gusto mo ng milyones, hindi pwedeng pang-100 pesos lang effort mo.”
Sacrifices are needed. Being poor is difficult, might as well have a hard time but getting richer. Trust me, it’s a worthy pursuit.
5. WE WILL MAKE BLUNDERS
Many characters are getting criticisms from fans due to blunders they committed during the movie. I’m sure this is the reaction that producers wanted from the viewers. Star Lord is getting flack for what he did to Thanos, acting out of grief when they were almost winning. Thor as well for wasting his one-in-a-million shot by not aiming at Thanos’ head or left arm perhaps, just so Thor can rub it in Thanos’ face that he got vengeance. Or so he thought. Time and again, characters were subjected to difficult choices between choosing to save one life vs saving half of the universe by keeping the stones away from Thanos’ hands (e.g. Gamora for Nebula, Scarlet Witch for Vision, etc).
Well, we do make blunders. All of us. Even heroes do. Lucky for us, the fate of humanity does not rest in our decision-making. But the fate of our future self and of our dependents do rest on our shoulders. In the thick of our daily battles, we try to make the best decisions at the moment, and we should be able to live with that. We should be able to forgive ourselves from the wrong decisions we made, financial or otherwise, as long as it was the best decision we can come up with back then.
But when opportunity permits, Juan should make use of hindsight, of how our decision-makings could have been improved. Like in trade planning, we should be aware that we will make mistakes, so we have to live with it, but it doesn’t mean we have to keep it (again, cut losses). Once we are aware that we will make mistakes, we will not be so hard on ourselves. Instead, we look back and learn from our mistakes. Then try again. As for other financial mistakes we have committed, hopefully we know better now. Acknowledge them, move on, change for the better because you know better now.
We will make mistakes along the way. The trick is to make it constructive, not destructive.
6. OUR OWN INFINITY STONES
We don’t have infinity, we have what, 80 years give or take? Our infinity is with what we leave behind, to our loved ones, to the generations we build and leave behind, to the lives we touch who cannot repay us. Nonetheless, we do have all the infinity stones with us. Each of us. All of us have minds, souls, spaces, powers, time, and realities. And with that, it gives us the capacity to fulfill our missions in life as well. We just have to maximize these synergies and wield them properly. Magnify what’s within us.
Mind: Think and grow rich. The 10 steps to a richer life begins with a wealthy healthy mindset towards money and knowing why you deserve a richer life. Learning investments does not need a high IQ, but rather EQ and patience, it just needs effort, openness, guts and mental toughness.
Soul: Bring others with you. The journey to financial freedom is not just for Juan’s self but for the people around him, and eventually for the country. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” (Mt 16:26). Check within you, is your soul inclined to the good or the bad? What will the infinity stones magnify within you? What value can you share with the world in exchange for financial freedom?
Space: We cannot alter space per se, but for me, this means becoming bigger than our physical limitations. Going beyond our boundaries of physical space, being able to create value that will outlive ourselves. Going beyond the boundaries of our physical bodies, and being persons-for-and-with-others, being able to bring not just himself but others as well closer to financial freedom. Creating lasting impact, not just in Juan’s personal space, but in others’ as well.
Power: God gave us creative energies, He gave us skills, intelligence, talents, something valuable to share with the world. He gave us power 24/7 hopefully to create something of value, something that gives value in exchange for another value (e.g. energy to do our jobs or run our businesses, and getting paid in return; or energy to pursue investments and multiply the blessings He gave us). Let us not waste such power, and instead use it for the greater good. We were given capacities to improve our lives, we should not give up on pursuing such. Pawer!
Time: Time value of money. Great things take time to build so make sure you make time your ally. Time is a precious resource because we only have limited amounts of it. We cannot bring back time unlike Doctor Strange so let us not waste it all the time. A richer life takes time for most of us so might as well get started now right? Start small, fine, but start now.
Reality: “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve” – Napoleon Hill. Our thoughts become our reality, so in this sense, we can create our desired realities, if we just put our mind and focus onto it, and focus our efforts and creative powers to it. We can create better realities than the one we have now. We make a richer life our reality. Make that goal of a richer life a reality for you and every Juan around you. Don’t let those dreams turn into dust with a snap of a finger. Turn them into reality. The reality is that the rest of our story is still unwritten, our movies still have parts 2 to 99. We have it in us to write hopefully richer, colorful and adventure-filled stories, us winning the war.
May you have a richer life!
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Again, may you have a richer life!
Photos: Credits to digitalspy.com, thedailybeast.com, ign.com, forbes.com, fotothing.com