Are you a Playful Investor? Here’s why it pays to be…

Unlock better thinking by lowering the stakes.

Just as with any significant purchase buying investments should be enjoyable, fun as well as serious and decisive. We often feel so much pressure to make a good investment decision that we lose sight of the pleasure and dare I say, playfulness of the process of deciding where to invest.

Some might argue that a sense of playfulness around something so serious as investing is nothing but a distraction and a sign of simply not taking the job seriously.

But the truth is:

Playfulness leads to creative thinking and smarter decision-making.

“Play offers the relatively unique chance to exercise both the analytical and creative aspects of our thinking.

“When it comes to making important or complex decisions, we need as much mental firepower as we can get. Of course, we need to think carefully and logically, weigh the possible pros and cons, consider both benefits and risks. We also need to think creatively, flexibly, and outside the box.

Nick Wignal

Many forms of play turn out to be a wonderful training ground for simultaneously exercising our capacities for analytical and creative thinking. A board game like Settlers of Catan, for examples, requires systematic, logical thinking about overall strategy; but to play really well, you must be able to change that thinking in novel, surprising ways in order to adapt to the unique styles and decisions of your competitors.

Importantly, games and play are not only an opportunity to practice a mixture of analytical and creative thinking, but they’re a safe, easy place to do so.

I’ve noticed a lot of people miss the chance to exercise the more creative aspects of their thinking because it’s still looked down upon or seen as risky in a lot of traditional “9-to-5” settings. Play offers an opportunity to think more creatively to solve problems in a way that lowers the intensity that can cause us to make irrational decisions.

As an investor, it can be tempting to take a serious and calculated approach to every decision we make. After all, investing is about maximising returns and minimising risk. While this is true to a great extent, there is also a case to be made for being playful.

But what does it mean to be a playful investor? Essentially, it means being open to trying new things, being willing to take calculated risks, and having a bit of fun while doing so. It’s about being flexible and adaptable, rather than sticking to a rigid investment strategy.

So, why does it pay to be playful? Here are a few reasons:

  1. It allows you to diversify your portfolio. By being open to trying new investments and taking calculated risks, you can diversify your portfolio and reduce your overall risk. This can be especially important in times of market volatility, as it can help protect your investments from significant losses.
  2. It can lead to higher returns. By being open to new opportunities and taking calculated risks, you may be able to uncover investment opportunities that have the potential for higher returns. Of course, it’s important to do your research and only take risks that are within your risk tolerance, but being a playful investor can open up new possibilities for growth.
  3. It can make investing more enjoyable. Let’s face it, investing can be stressful at times. But by being a playful investor and having a bit of fun with it, you may find that the experience is more enjoyable overall. And when you enjoy something, you’re more likely to stick with it, which can be beneficial for your long-term investing success.

Of course, it’s important to strike a balance between being a playful investor and a responsible one. You don’t want to take unnecessary risks or make impulsive decisions, but being open to trying new things and taking calculated risks can pay off in the long run.

So, are you a playful investor? If not, it might be worth considering adding a bit of playfulness to your investment strategy. You never know what opportunities it may uncover.

*Further reading: 7 Psychological Benefits of Playfulness for Adults by Nick Wignall

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