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Deepak Chopra on market volatility: Take advantage of panicky investors

Grete Suarez

In volatile markets, acclaimed author and wellness guru Deepak Chopra has some unusual advice: Savvy investors should milk the “anxiety and chaos” for all it’s worth.

On Thursday, Wall Street added to the previous session’s steep losses, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) swoon nearly 500 points. Markets have been shaken by weak data that’s raising fears a global slowdown may turn into a full-fledged recession.

It may sound all gloom and doom, but Chopra told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview that investors need to take a step back. "The key is not to get caught up in the drama," the author said.

He added that “good investors take advantage of exactly what’s happening right now… over other people’s anxiety, he said on YFi PM. “Take advantage of the fear and anxiety of those who are panicking.”

Chopra believes people are panicking because “they’re buying into a story that the future is not right.” But in reality, he said key fundamentals — including technology, the ability to buy and sell goods or services, and even human resources— haven’t changed.

However, “what has changed is the story that people are telling themselves and then engaging in that melodrama and causing this havoc,” said Chopra. “Everybody’s rushing to conform,” which in this case means selling stocks.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 21: Deepak Chopra at the 9th Annual Peace Week Town Hall at Betaworks Studios on January 21, 2019 in New York City. Credit: Diego Corredor/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 21: Deepak Chopra at the 9th Annual Peace Week Town Hall at Betaworks Studios on January 21, 2019 in New York City. Credit: Diego Corredor/MediaPunch /IPX

Another risk factor has been President Donald Trump’s growing political troubles. Amid Congress beginning an impeachment probe, the president has blamed the market’s downturn on the scandal involving Ukraine. Chopra said, “that’s his story right? There are other versions of the story.”

For panicking investors about to press the sell button, Chopra suggested they take stock of the impulses driving the urge to sell.

“The awareness of that, the observation of that and nothing else; the non-judgmental awareness of your own self starts a bit of a transformation,” he said.

“The biggest cause of insecurity is the biggest addiction to security,” he added.

Chopra believes that our minds work by recycling social stories, and that we see the world through that perspective. He quipped that nobody has an original mind—except a few entrepreneurs who are disruptive.

Chopra launched his new book “METAHUMAN: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential,” which outlines steps one can take to become more conscious and aware. According to the author, the goal is to go beyond ingrained habits, beliefs, routine, and automatic reactions.

“Our experience of the world, our experience of the body, our experience of everything out there is actually an interpretation in our own consciousness of social constructs that recycle,” he said.

“All we have to do is tell a new story and tomorrow the market will change again.”

Grete Suarez is producer at Yahoo Finance for YFi PM and The Ticker. Follow her on Twitter: @GreteSuarez

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