Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Mastering the Art of “Self-Speak”: Check out how this intrapersonal skill can impact your investments! [Wednesdays: The Independent Investor]

July 27, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson


We hope you’re having a great day so far. 

Let’s power through the week with a few words of wisdom from my friend and colleague, Professor Joel Litman. He’s good at giving great insights that are applicable to people’s business strategies, investing strategies, and personal life. 

Excited to learn more about today’s topic? 

Read the article below to find out. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

The Independent Investor 

In April 2022, Professor Joel Litman, Chairman and CEO of Valens Research and Chief Investment Strategist of Altimetry Financial Research, was in Cappadocia with his family. 

In case you’re not aware, Cappadocia is a semi-arid region in Central Turkey. The place is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys” and tall, cone-shaped rock formations. 

What’s more? 

Cappadocia is also known as the “Hot Air Balloon and Cave-Hotel Capital of the World!” 

According to Professor Litman, it’s a wonderful experience to be up in a hot air balloon AND to be up in the sky with 100 other hot air balloons at the same time.

Photo from Trip.com

Professor Litman says while Cappadocia is beautiful, the region experiences desert winds and is very dusty. Additionally, stairs and cobblestone streets are oddly shaped and inconsistently lit. 

At some point, he and his family members experienced tripping and falling—he even felt silly for falling flat on his face! Upon hearing news about his fall in particular, his friends and family teased him about getting older. 

“Ah, Joel, you must be getting older.” 

Even with jokes like this, Professor Litman says he’s careful NOT to internalize such comments into “self-speak.” 

Here’s why… 

The Power of “Self-speak” 

Self-speak or self-talk is something people naturally do throughout their waking hours. This is a powerful tool to increase self-confidence and curb negative emotions. 

According to a study by WebMD, 96% of adults have an internal dialogue with themselves. These people, especially those who master positive self-speak, are more confident, motivated, and productive. 

Photo from Sharp HealthCare

Mastering the art of self-speak is important because it has a BIG impact on how people feel and view themselves, and what they do. 

… and while positive self-speak comes naturally to some, others need to learn how to cultivate positive thoughts and dispel the negative ones. 

According to Professor Litman, we all have narratives in our heads about who we are and how we live our lives. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of negative self-speak, where self-narrating stories do us no good. 

Let’s take the you’re-getting-older joke as an example… 

Professor Litman says if he was to continuously tell himself that he’s getting older, he will inadvertently start believing it. 

What happens next? 

From his own persuasion, he would start acting older and do things that people associate with being old. 

That’s why whenever his friends and family tease him about getting older, Professor Litman always feels compelled to joke back by saying: 

“Yes, we 20-year-olds can be so clumsy!” 

This doesn’t mean denying his reality—that he’s actually getting older. It’s just that for Professor Litman, he wants his subconscious to hear the narrative that fits the age he wants to behave at, not what others say. 

By harnessing the power of positive self-speak, he enables his body and mind to believe that even when he’s not getting any younger, he can still do things younger people can do. 

The Power of “Self-speak” in Investing 

It’s important to learn the art of self-speak and control the stories/narratives you tell yourself. Examples: 

“I’m not good at Math.” 

“I cannot do this.” 

“I’ve tried everything but there’s still no progress. I’m giving up.” 

The more you tell these statements to yourself, the more your subconscious will believe they’re actually true. In the end, you’ll never be able to give yourself a chance to prove your negative self-speeches wrong. 

Whereas if you tell yourself the opposite of these statements, you’re compelling your inner self to try and improve. As a result, you feel more in control of your body, more confident, and more motivated. 

Let’s apply this concept in investing… 

Professor Litman agrees that bad narratives, when often heard, are also terrible for investing. Why? 

Ignorant and baseless statements repeated often enough can lead investors to eventually believe they’re true! 

Take a look at these statements: 

“The stock market is scary.” 

“The market is too volatile to do anything.” 

“I should invest in a balanced fund, because I’m neither aggressive nor conservative.” 

If you often hear these things, wouldn’t you condition your mind to believe these are the real situation of the stock market? 

Highly likely you would! 

… and if you don’t know enough about how the stock market works—its patterns, responses to various events, etc.—and how successful investing works, you’ll easily fall into the trap of these “wannabe experts.” 

That’s why as an investor, it’s important that you do your own research and analysis so you won’t easily believe what the financial media reports or what other people tell you about stocks and investing in general. 

Think about this: Misguided comments have contributed to millions of people sacrificing lifetimes of what could have been incredibly positive investment returns. Also, the concept of aggressive or conservative investing must be discussed within the parameters of time-based investing

Sure, the stock market is truly risky over short periods of time. However, if you’re thinking about a long-term plan or retirement in 20+ years, the stock market is as risk-free as you can get. 

In short, investing money you won’t need for 10 to 20 years in equities carries an incredibly high reward with amazingly low risk! 

So, be wary of the unnecessary words and stories other people tell you, and be cautious that you don’t adopt them as your own. 

Professor Litman says these are the nonsensical language of investing illiteracy, and welcoming them to your thought patterns could cost you millions of dollars you would have otherwise put into smart investments

We hope you enjoyed reading today’s topic! 

Unleash the power of positive self-speak and see how it will truly bring wonders to your investment strategies. 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: The Independent Investor”

To best understand a firm, it makes sense to know its underlying earning power. 

In two of the greatest books ever written on investing, the “Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham and “Security Analysis” by David Dodd and Benjamin Graham (yes, Graham authored both of these books), the term “earning power” is mentioned hundreds of times. 


Despite that, it’s surprising how earning power is mentioned seldomly in literature on business strategy. If the goal of a business is wealth creation, then the performance metrics must include the earning power concept. 

Every Wednesday, we’ll publish investing tips and insights in accordance with the practices of some of the world’s greatest investors. 

We make certain that these articles help you identify and separate the best companies from the worst, and develop your investing prowess in the long run. 

Our goal? 

To help you get on that path towards the greatest value creation in investing. 

Hope you’ve found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s “The Independent Investor!”


Kyle Yu

Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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