Hey — yoga can make you a better investor

If you follow Eddie Stern’s Facebook page you know that there was a panel in Washington, D.C. on Thursday that featured the Dalai Lama (meeting with President Obama today, against China’s wishes). Eddie quotes the Dalai Lama: “After listening, I have a better respect for capitalism.”

If you wondered what that was about, wonder no more. Business Insider has the lowdown. It’s because big-time investor — and at least one-time Eddie student (if not still) — Dan Loeb also was on the panel, at the American Enterprise Institute, talking about how yoga has made him a better investor.

From BI:

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, who runs $14 billion Third Point LLC, was on a panel yesterday with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Loeb explained to His Holiness how financial markets make the world a better place.

He also spoke extensively about his experience studying yoga and how that helps him be a better investor.

Loeb started Third Point LLC in June of 1995 with $3 million under management. He began practicing Ashtanga yoga just a few months before that.

Five months later after starting Third Point, Loeb’s yoga instructor, Eddie Stern, convinced him to go to India to study yoga with Ashtanga yoga master, Pattabhi Jois. He said that was an “unusual decision.”

A friend/competitor of Loeb called him up and told him it wasn’t a good idea, “Don’t do that. That’s a huge mistake. Everyone’s going to think you’re a flake for leaving your business, going to India and studying yoga for a month.”

He went anyway. (More on what he said is here.)

Some of what he learned from his yoga practice included (also from BI):

  1. Yoga quiets the fluctuations in the mind. Basically, it puts the mind at ease.
  2. Yoga helps put ourselves into difficult positions and to be able to create a sense equanimity in those difficult situations so that you can persevere and emerge from those situations making good choices.
  3. Yoga teaches us that when we make choices they come not just from what’s going to create a favorable outcome. Make sure we make decisions that do no harm and are consistent with our moral frame work.

And how does that relate to investing and trading? “That’s where this practice that enables us to be more creative, to be intuitive to make these better decisions is really important,” Loeb said, according to BI.

If that doesn’t seem to fit your idea of yoga, remember: Artha.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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