The Emotional Side of Investing: Part II – Pride

Cassandra Laymon, CFP®, MBA

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.   ~Proverbs 16:18

Is pride really an emotion? It’s a little harder to identify than happiness, or sadness, or anger. At its best, I think of the proud moments when I’ve seen my son accomplish something difficult, or when I’ve completed something I’ve worked hard on that produced positive results. When I finished writing I Found Jesus in the Stock Market, I was proud both because writing doesn’t come easy for me, and I truly felt like I was following what God had called me to do. I felt pretty good about that!

On the negative side, pride represents an extreme or foolish sense of your own personal value or worth. You can probably find numerous examples of this behavior around you at work, in your community, on television, and yes, even in church. I used to have this bad habit of getting into an argument or debate, realizing I was wrong, and then not being able to admit it. I wanted to be right no matter what and I would not let it go. I’ve since learned that the moment I realize I’m wrong is the moment to admit it and adjust my attitude accordingly. But that was not an easy lesson for me.

I’ve come to understand that the negative part of pride is that over-inflated sense of self that comes from thinking that you are in control. When we forget where our blessings come from and attribute our achievements and successes to our own hard work instead of giving God the credit and the glory…that’s when the trouble starts.

You may be asking, “What does all of this have to do with investing?” I usually come across pride in this area from people who wanted to do their own investing – call their own shots. Frequently, they end up losing a ton of money. To some, investing looks easy. It’s dangerous when you have some initial success and then get over-confident. As difficult as it can be to evaluate and know the right time to buy a good investment, it is much harder to know when to sell. When the stock or fund that you bought starts to lose value, you may not want to sell it and take a small loss or acknowledge you were wrong. After experiencing a loss, you might decide to work with a financial advisor and outsource these decisions to a professional. I find it interesting that we outsource so much to experts these days – plumbers and car mechanics to lawyers and accountants – but many people don’t want to outsource their investing.

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.   ~Proverbs 13:10

Even after earning my MBA and my many years of experience as a financial advisor – or maybe because of it – I outsource these day-to-day decisions to experts. We hire talented money managers with extensive training, expertise and experience in analyzing opportunities and making objective decisions about when to buy and sell particular investments. In addition, they are committed Christ-followers who understand biblical principles and only invest in companies you would be proud to own. With professionals like these available to me, I have confidence to leave the investment selection decisions to them, so I can focus on financial planning and helping my clients live out the life that God has called them to.

Has pride perhaps crept into your investing? Is it time to seek out expert advice? If you are unsure of the kinds of business practices you might be unknowingly investing in, we invite you to have a conversation with us about how you can align your investments with your values… It is simply a matter of wise stewardship!


Financial Planning & Investment Advisory services offered through Beacon Wealth Consultants, Inc.