You’re Either With Me, or Against Me!

There’s a fun game we play at our house while watching sports.

If I’m pulling for a team, I tell the kids they can only sit on the couch with me if they’re rooting for the same team. “This couch is for Georgia Bulldogs fans ONLY!”

If you’re not cheering for my team, you don’t get a spot on the couch. That’s the rule…

My 7-year-old twin girls love the game. They don’t care a bit about sports, but they love snuggling with Dad and cheering for the “red team.”

caleb-cheer_optCaleb, my precocious 3-year-old boy has a completely different idea of fun. Instead of cheering for my team, he automatically picks the opposite team. He’ll cheer for the “white team” no matter who it is. And worse, he’ll try to worm his way onto the couch — even while pulling for the wrong team!

(The picture to the right is Caleb cheering for the Tennessee Volunteers this weekend – yuck!)

In my couch game, that’s against the rules. You’re either with me, or against me. There’s no middle ground…

This attitude works out great with sports. But unfortunately, too many of us take this “with me or against me” stance into other areas of our lives.

Responding to Different Investment Opinions

What’s your reaction when someone has a negative opinion of a stock that you’re invested in?

If you’re like me, you instinctively think of all the reasons why this person could be wrong about your stock. You go back to all the reasons you liked the stock in the first place and stick to your guns.

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It’s a natural human tendency. We don’t like to hear that we’re wrong… especially when it comes to something that we’ve done research on and invested our money in.

But the truth is that listening to other opinions about our investments is actually very healthy. In fact, we can usually become better investors by considering opinions that are different than our own. If nothing more, considering a different opinion, and coming back to our original conclusion, actually gives us a stronger confidence in an investment decision we have made.

Over the last several years, I’ve worked hard to open my mind to other opinions.

It can be a bit tough when you share your opinions with the world like I do. There are plenty of ways that you can email me, comment on my alerts, or otherwise tell me why I’m wrong about a stock. As a writer, I’ve had to develop some thick skin.

But over time, I’ve learned that listening to differing opinions (even when people are hurling insults with their differing opinion), ultimately has made me a much better investor.

Learning From Different Life Opinions

Investments aren’t the only area of life where we can be too stubborn.

Maybe it’s just me. But if I have an idea about creating a specific investment course, or if I would like to take the family to an event for the weekend, or even if I set a specific bed time for my kids… I’m not often open to different opinions.

But that kind of perspective can get me in trouble. After all, I’ve been blessed to have many other wise people in my life who often see things completely different than I do.

My publisher Joe Schriefer likes to say that he wants to be “the dumbest person in the room.” In other words, he wants to surround himself with people who are smarter than him in their particular areas of skill.

This kind of attitude takes a lot of humility.

But it also leads to tremendous growth.

I can’t say that I’m there yet. (I still have a good bit of stubbornness in me.) But I’m learning that the more I surround myself with people who have smart perspectives (that are different than my own), the more growth I can have in many areas of my life.

I’ll still reserve the couch only for Georgia Bulldogs fans. But in other areas, there is definitely room for multiple perspectives.

Just some ideas I’ve been pondering over the last two days. I hope you had a great weekend!

Zach Scheidt