Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meditation & Stock Market Investing


When the stock market crashed in 1987, Anil Jethmal was a stockbroker trainee at Lehman Brothers in New York City.  He recounts in The Winner’s Circle 2: How Ten Stockbrokers Became the Best In the Business, “I’ll never forget that day.  Pandemonium broke loose and the entire office was in a frenzy.  Normally cool brokers were screaming…..one broker even had a nervous breakdown”.

Anil went home shaken.  He was unsure whether this was the right career path for him.  He turned to his father for some sage advice.  It was this advice, even 30 years later, that Anil Jethmal credits for his success today.  His father told him not to make any rash decisions while his mind was in a frenzy.  All decisions, particularly in the fast paced world of stock market investing, need to be made with a sense of calm, focus, patience and perspective.  He spoke of how Christians and Catholics remind themselves that “this too shall pass”.  Of Indian heritage, Anil’s father talked about the benefits and techniques of meditation.  Being in a state of mental crisis, Anil was willing to try it.

Over the years, Anil Jethmal found that the benefits of meditation are exactly what the greatest investors preach as necessary tools in order to succeed.  Ray Dalio, whose entire 17 billion dollar fortune was made in stocks, credits meditation for his success. Recently, he emphatically stated, “more than anything in my life (meditation) was the biggest ingredient for whatever success I’ve had.” Billionaire stock investor, Paul Tudor Jones, is also an avid meditator.  Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Pixar and Next, credits meditation with helping his creativity and focus.

To this day, Anil uses meditation, not as an emergency tool during times of crisis, but as a daily ritual.  Besides making him a better investor, it connects him to his father and to his heritage.

An Education in Mindfulness

Anil Jethmal graduated from Bowdoin College in 1987 with a degree in Economics.   While he feels fortunate to receive his education from a...