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I’m not a New Age person, but I do believe in keeping an open mind. So these two articles on the CFA Institute Blog intrigued me:

The Importance of Meditation for Investment Professionals

Leading from the Center: Dalio, Hagan, and Freeman on Meditation and Leadership

It turns out that some of the most successful investors in the world meditate. Ray Dalio, the founder of the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates, has said:

“Meditation more than anything in my life is the biggest ingredient in whatever success I’ve had.”

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As I’m always interested in learning from successful people, I had to look into it more. Here are some of the things I’ve learned…

It has stood the test of time

Meditation has been around for over 2000 years. The beliefs associated with it have changed, but the practice itself hasn’t.

The physical benefits are proven

Medical research shows it can help with blood pressure, stress and digestion. The psychological and emotional benefits, by their nature, are much harder to scientifically prove. But practitioners normally report feeling better and thinking more clearly.

You can do it sitting or moving

The stereotype is of someone sitting in the lotus position. But it’s also common to get into a meditative state during exercise.

It doesn’t have to be spiritual

I know some atheists and agnostics who do it, and it hasn’t changed their non-belief at all. Many practitioners do it just for the mental and physical benefits, and nothing more.

It has scams and frauds (like the investment industry)

There are schools out there who will take people for every cent they can get out of them. Some of these so-called ‘movements’ are fleecing gullible people every chance they get.

It has its limits

Meditating is not a ‘cure all.’ There is no magic. It doesn’t replace other forms of physical or mental treatment. It may even be harmful with some forms of mental illness. For references, it’s worth having a look at this page:

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

You don’t need a teacher

If going to classes and having a teacher fits your learning style, go for it. Just be careful who you study under. There are a lot of hocus-pocus teachers out there, and they want your money.

You can also teach yourself though. You can find all the resources you need online. Any for some people, this is the only way to go, due to this being a private habit.

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To conclude, after what I’ve learned, I’m willing to try it. Over the next few months I’ll experiment with it, and decide if it’s something I want to continue with. Will it make me a better investor? Time will tell.