The Advantages of Low Expectations
In this blog, we will explore the advantages of low expectations and how embracing a realistic outlook, known as the “advantages of low expectations,” can pave the way for greater contentment and resilience in various aspects of life, from everyday situations to investment strategies. We all desire desirable outcomes, but tempering our expectations can lead to a more fulfilling journey.
Disappointment & Contentment
Disappointment occurs when a situation or outcome is worse than we expected. By intentionally setting expectations low, such as expecting long lines at the airport and flight delays, we decrease the likelihood of becoming disappointed or angry when “life happens.”
Contentment, on the other hand, results from situations our outcomes that exceed our expectations. When we lower our expectations, we put ourselves in a position to be pleasantly surprised more often, such as when we breeze through security and our flight arrives a few minutes early.
When we set expectations for something, we should consider how much control we have over the situation. If we have a great deal of control, we may feel confident setting high expectations for ourselves. But when things are out of our control, we should consider keeping our expectations low.
Most investors want to achieve high rates of return with little fluctuation in value. Assuming a given (and acceptable) level of risk, the higher the return, the better. But we should be careful to keep our investment hopes and desires separate from our investment expectations.
When we temper our investment expectations, we are in a better position to handle market surprises. Every year the market surprises us. Tempered expectations empower us to enjoy the positive surprises and put us in a healthy mindset to handle and adapt to the negative surprises.
We have found that the best expectations for investors are a combination of realistic optimism for the long term coupled with the expectation that, in the short-term, markets may not make sense and often fluctuate considerably.
By Anthony C. Williams, CWS, ChFC, MRFC, CLU | Investment Advisor Representative | President & Founding Partner of Mosaic Financial Associates & Orthopaedist Advisory Group | Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
© The Behavioral Finance Network