Your Hidden Rituals will be Exposed

How many times did you hear this phrase growing up:

“You are what you eat.”

Of course, the implication is that if you eat junk, your body will be junk and vice versa. If you eat healthy foods, your body will reap the benefits.

Taking this concept further, how much resources do we as consumers spend in terms of time, money, and physical sacrifices later in life to reverse the effects of bad eating habits and rituals we had when we were younger?

Look at the list of health issues associated with poor nutrition and poor eating habits:

  • Obesity.
  • Heart Disease and Stroke.
  • Tooth Decay.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • High Cholesterol.
  • Type-2 Diabetes.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Some Cancers.
  • Depression.
  • Eating Disorders.

How much do we spend on medical bills, surgeries, time lost from work, and physical pain, dealing with the myriad of health issues that could have been avoided if we had adopted healthier diets and lifestyles when we were younger?

Consumption and its effects on us as humans go beyond the physical.

What we consume with our minds can also harm us in many ways – including mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.

Like with food, what we consume with our minds in terms of media will inevitably affect how we think, act, and even feel. Social media has been proven to cause depression and insecurity as consumers constantly feel incapable of living up to unrealistic expectations artificially projected by users on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can consume donuts and harmful media in secret, but these hidden rituals will eventually be exposed. Bad eating habits will be exposed in the form of health issues, and harmful media will ultimately manifest itself in insecurity and depression and, in extreme cases, harm oneself or others. Finally, people with poorly hidden rituals will have to pay the price of their habits.

Money, time, and physical and emotional pain and turmoil will be the price that will have to be paid to reverse the effects of poor choices.

Tempus breve est… ​​

“Tempus breve est” is a Latin term for “Life is short.”

If we constantly remind ourselves of the brevity of our lives and our mortalities, how many of us would be more careful about our habits and rituals?

​​Would we spend so much time and energy on poor decision-making, suffering the consequences of those decisions and then reversing those decisions if we realize that one of these days, it will be too late to change the course of our lives?

For many people, their hidden rituals are a product of convenience and access. Fast food is cheap and convenient. Social media is on all our phones. Besides food and media, there is another area where convenience can also have harmful effects down the road, and that area of our lives deals with our finances and investments.

Investors are creatures of convenience. They do what’s easy and what everyone else is doing.

​​They get information and advice from family, friends, cable news, and the internet because they’re convenient and don’t take much work. Investing in a 401(k) at work is as easy as checking a couple of boxes on an enrollment form. Buying and selling stocks has never been more accessible with commission-free trading platforms like Robinhood. Financial planners and advisors promise to do all the work for you.

With investing, there’s a world of convenience at your fingertips but what’s convenient is not always the best for your financial well-being. Does doing what everyone else is doing work? No, not when the average retail investor has suffered average annual losses over the past 20 years when considering inflation and not when over 90% of investment pros fail to beat the market.

Mainstream investing doesn’t work. It’s why millions of retirement-age Americans are ill-prepared for retirement. Many do not have sufficient resources to last them through retirement. The problem is most of these Americans were fed a steady diet of junk investments, and now they’re paying the price.

The ultra-wealthy don’t feast on junk investments. They have a few sprinkled here and there in their portfolios, but they allocate a bulk of their portfolios to cash-flowing private alternatives like real estate and private equity.

Eating healthy takes time and commitment. It also takes effort to gain knowledge from seasoned experts and professionals about healthy nutrition habits and rituals. It takes seeking out fountains of knowledge and drinking from them. Just like effective nutrition, effective investing also requires effort. It also takes seeking out those who have been around the block and learning from and partnering with them.

Effective investing is not cheap. You can’t just buy one share of stock on Robinhood. With private investments, qualified investors are typically expected to invest a minimum of $10,000 in participating, and they’re expected to keep their capital locked up for a minimum of 3-5 years.

​​Private investing takes time and commitment. It takes time to learn about them and network with the right individuals who will introduce you to them. Then it will take capital and time commitment to allow your investment to germinate and grow.

Private investments in real estate and private equity can be highly effective at creating and growing wealth but just like with the diet industry; there are hacks out there. Make sure the people you decide to team up with have specific experience and a track record of success.

Stop feasting on convenient stocks and mutual funds that provide you with empty calories. Start feasting on the assets that will nourish your portfolio and sustain you financially now and far into your future and your posterity’s future.

Instead of paying the price for harmful secret investing rituals down the road, reap the rewards of healthy investing habits now and gain the financial independence that you seek.



Mike Ayala has owned and operated mobile home parks since 2007, and has been active in construction and management since he was 15 years old. He graduated from the Associated Builders and Contractors 4-year project management program at age 22 and then became a licensed instructor. He is also the host of the Investing for Freedom podcast.