My latest tool for financial literacy is laughter.  Michelle Obama has been quoted as saying: 

“First you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen.”

If you’re funny, they will learn!”

So come on, ladies.  Let’s laugh, let’s listen and then let’s learn.

I came across one of my favorite ancient proverbs recently and, despite its familiarity, I was stunned.  Reading it repeatedly I soaked in its message and let it lift me out of the clamor of financial doom and gloom that is swirling in the media.  Here’s the proverb:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity.

She can laugh at the days to come!”

The old expression “dress for success” takes on new meaning in light of these words.  They help me step into strength and wrap myself in dignity.  Fears of the markets, gas prices, food shortages and affordable housing shrink when I rise up with strength and dignity and laugh.

Nothing is particularly funny; this laughter is more purposeful than humorous.  It is a habit which creates the positive atmosphere needed to soar above the mess, and land on the other side in a good space.  Laughter benefits spirit, mind, and body.  In the spiritual realm laughter dispels negative energy and helps fight through obstacles.  It actually attracts favorable outcomes and reins in success. In the mental and emotional arena, laughter releases endorphins in the brain which produce feelings of well-being, allowing us to think clearly, focus, learn new things and retain information.  The constructive effects of laughter boosts creativity and maximizes our ability to understand and apply new concepts.  It helps us move forward and find workable solutions in any situation.  On the physical level laughter exercises internal organs, reduces stress, protects the heart, boosts the immune system (helping us fight nasty diseases and viruses!).  Enough said!  Laughter is simply a vital element in overcoming any troublesome situation.

My research has surfaced 7 reasons to find strength and dignity to laugh, even though the predictions for the economy are bleak.  Join me in chuckling our way through these thoughts.

#1 – Everyone following the articles on this platform has put on strength!  By exercising our minds and examining trends we have anticipated many problems and are not surprised by what we see now.  We have been preparing for challenging times and we’re ready.  So, let’s laugh.

#2 – We are not alone but are locking arms and wading into the future together.  We gain dignity and confidence from community.  Paraphrasing Stephen Covey, we are in a place where “our strengths are magnified, and our weaknesses are rendered irrelevant because of the strengths of others!”  In a community of unity, we can all just laugh!

#3 – We’ve seen bad times before and (guess what?) we have lived to tell the story.  While old solutions may not work in modern times, our learnings from the 1929 crash, the 2008 crash and every economic downturn in between bear the seeds of new practices that will blossom into solutions and opportunities for today’s market.  As we harvest, plant and water the seeds, we will watch them grow – laughing all the way.

#4 – We’ve learned that in a downturn there are always losers and winners.  We learn from our losses how to be winners.  Our fate is decided by internal mindset, not external environment. Difficult times shape, mold, sand off rough edges and polish us – bringing out our brilliance.  We may not like the circumstances, but we love who we are becoming because of the times in which we live.  

#5 – The financial community is recognizing that women control great wealth and deserve more attention in the mostly male dominated industry.  

#6 – The best investment coaches and advisors are (finally) beginning to recognize and value the unique style of women investors.  Findings are showing that the female investor is often more rational, disciplined, reasonable and measured than our male counterparts.  Women are impact players, motivated to get the greatest return on investment because they are not just doing it for themselves—it’s for the son or daughter, mother or father, niece or nephew.  This recognition is creating more coaching specifically tailored to female investors and is helping us craft and attain results that are more important to us.  I don’t know what took them so long, but I say “Yay”.  Let’s laugh about that!

#7 – We have new options for profiting in tough times – new choices that were unheard of even 12 months ago.  The new digital platforms are a real game changer for all those who have been previously disenfranchised.  New fintech currencies and investment options are supporting cross generational wealth transfer and helping us re-focus on the three main pillars of wealth building:  ownership, trust and recirculation of assets within our community. (Look for more about these pillars in a future article). Fun and profitable new tools are in our hands right now.  So, we can laugh.

In closing, I leave us with three of my favorite financial education jokes and invite you to laugh as you glean the nuggets of truth from them:

-A study of economics usually reveals that the best time to buy anything was last year! 😊

-Why did God create stock analysts?  In order to make weather forecasters look good! 😊

-An investor asked her advisor, “Is all my money really gone?”  The advisor replied, “No, it’s not gone!  What you lost is now simply in some else’s account?” 😊

Equipped with financial knowledge, truth, strength, and dignity, we can create a new habit and just laugh!