Kiev recommends exercises to reduce tension. For example, enroll in a yoga class or learn some deep-breathing and muscle-relaxation exercises. A portfolio manager Kiev works with schedules 45 minutes of yoga every morning to help him cope with market difficulties. "He gets himself into a centered state," Kiev says. "If things aren't going well later in the day, he can get back into that same mindset."
Lessons for the Average Investor
The same lessons can work for individual investors struggling to stay afloat in a stormy market. Kiev argues that investors who make decisions based on reason rather than emotion will find more success in the markets. "See things as they are, and don't put too much meaning on them so you can stay cool, calm and collected," he says.
Kiev also advises investors to limit the number of companies they track. He recommends they dig deeply into just two or three companies a year by poring over their SEC filings and maintaining spreadsheets to track their performance. Individuals also should develop their own investment methodologies that give them clear direction about when to buy and sell holdings. Have a plan and stick to it: For example, if you set a sell price of $20 for shares of Company X, make sure you actually sell that position when it hits $20.
Kiev also urges individual investors to tune out most of the investment information available on cable news shows and Web sites, let alone infomercials touting the next great investment. "The more anxious you are, the more suggestible you are," he says. "Develop your own approach and do your research, then create a plan and stick to it."