The Pull to Run With the Herd

Think back to our ancestors for a moment...

In prehistoric times, if a man saw a big group running away from something, he could run away as well... or hang around and see what all the fuss was about.

If you think for a minute, we can trace our lineage back to the ones who ran. They're the ones who survived.

That's why, over time, we've been conditioned to act as the larger group does.

As longtime readers have heard many times, a part of our brain called the amygdala drives our body's natural fear response. The amygdala consists of two tiny structures deep in the brain that connect emotions and fear. Your amygdala gets feedback from your senses, and if it encounters anything out of the ordinary, it triggers a threat response.

When individuals don't follow the crowd, their amygdalae start firing. This makes them feel nervous... even sick to the stomach. Such a reaction was useful in prehistoric days when mankind's biggest concern was being eaten by wild beasts. But our instincts work against us in the markets.

Following the herd can cause investors to buy at the top, when everyone else is buying... or sell at the bottom, when everyone else is dumping their stocks.

That's why right now, when lots of folks are still avoiding the market, you want to think about what your next investment is...

If you're on the hunt for such opportunities, I urge you to watch the recent presentation from my colleagues Marc Chaikin and Joel Litman.

Last week, they revealed what they call the "Perfect Stock."

It's a never-before-seen recommendation and approach that could realistically make you 5 times your money from here no matter what is troubling the overall stock market.

Their criteria for these perfect stocks are so demanding that after scanning 32,000 unique investments over the past 10 years, only 133 stocks have ever earned the title of "perfect."

This presentation is about to go offline... So click here to learn more about the Perfect Stock now.

Now, let's get into some of the things you've had on your minds this week. As always, keep sending your comments, questions, and topic suggestions to [email protected]. We read every e-mail.

Q: Thank you for this daily service. It is truly valuable for all.

Is it true that krill oil is good for older people with edema? – R.N.

A: Thanks for your readership, R.N., and for your question.

We get a lot of questions about krill oil and its benefits...

The problem with fish oils – like krill oil – is that a lot of contaminants wind up in waterways and oceans... then in fish and shellfish. It collects in their fatty acids in particular. We don't like fish-oil supplements because they have high concentrations of those contaminated fatty acids. So the trace amounts of toxins that you might get in a single whole fish exist in much higher levels when you ingest fish in supplement form.

The same is true for krill, which are small oceanic crustaceans. An Australian study published in the journal Nutrients was the first to evaluate the toxicological properties of krill oil. Researchers found that krill-oil pills contained "intermediate levels" of toxic contaminants... In other words, they won't kill you, but you're still paying too much for pills filled with toxins.

There are a handful of small, short-term studies that suggest krill oil is better absorbed by your body than other oils, but there simply aren't enough large trials with human subjects to assure us that krill oil is worthwhile.

There's also no good evidence showing krill oil helps edema (fluid retention). There are lots of different potential causes of edema, which vary depending on your health and where the fluid is. Fluid retention, especially in the legs, is common in older folks. It can be a sign that you have some kind of nutrient deficiency, vein weakness, or possibly even heart disease. Certain medications also cause fluid retention.

If you haven't already discussed your edema with your doctor, it might be time to do that so you can determine exactly why your body is holding on to extra fluid.

Q: Is there a best time to exercise? I've seen lots of conflicting advice. – P.M.

A: According to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, you can get the most benefits for your heart by exercising in the morning...

Dutch researchers at Leiden University Medical Center found that compared with working out in the afternoon or night, exercising between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. was associated with a lower risk of hospitalization or death from cardiovascular disease – regardless of the intensity level.

Researchers observed that folks aged 40 and older had the best results when they were active in the late morning, reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke by 16% and 17%, respectively.

And the news gets even better for women, as the sex-adjusted data showed that women who work out in the morning could reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 35%.

Set your alarm for a brisk, early-morning walk outside. If it gets too cold, you can still get your heart pumping with a few equipment-free exercises indoors. YouTube has plenty of beginner-level bodyweight workouts like this one. And on weekends, I like to fit in a quick workout before brunch.

Just don't turn this tip into an excuse... If your workout window only opens during the afternoon – make it happen then. Exercising in the afternoon is still much better than not doing anything at all.

Editor's note: Our offices are closed for Presidents Day next Monday. Expect your next Health & Wealth Bulletin issue on Tuesday, February 21.

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
February 17, 2023