As an individual investor, you may be confused by the hype and pressure aimed at you by the media and securities salesmen. The constant drumbeat of news, both good and bad, can create an emotional response from even the most stoic of investors. Couple that with many investors’ lack of experience, and trouble can erupt from portfolios during tough market times. In July 1993 I wrote:
You’re on the 15th Tee.
At the Four Seasons golf course in Nevis, West Indies, high in the lush green hills of this remote Caribbean island, you are overlooking the yawning expanse of a many hundred foot deep gorge. Where’s the pin? Where do you hit? You hit over the gorge to some unseen and distant manicured green. For novices, it would take small-arms fire to hit the other side of the gorge. But for you, the seasoned pro, it’s but a well-timed whack with your Wilson #3 wood. No problem, you’re on the green.
The challenge of this extraordinary hole on one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses is nothing to you, because you are disciplined and practiced, and you concentrate on your game.
Investing is much like golf. Discipline concentration and a practiced stroke are paramount to winning investors as well as to steady golfers. Think about it. Do you apply the same level of concentration to your every investment move as you would on a tricky 20-foot putt? Have you mastered a practiced, mechanical, unemotional approach to your investment program?
Discipline, confidence and a mechanical approach work every time and make sense in many avenues of life. One of my regular monthly goals here is to logically convince you of the value of these vital traits.
Invest With the Slow Ebb and Flow of the Tides
Like many investors, you may often be confused by events of the moment. Media hype and sales pressure are difficult hurdles to overcome. Here, you learn how to overcome emotion in investing. You learn how to harness the awesome long-term power of compound interest and to invest with the slow ebb and flow of the tides. Do not invest on each crashing wave of headline news. If it’s a good idea today, it will be a good idea tomorrow and the next day. Take it easy, relax and do not be an in-and-out trader or market timer. Be ruthlessly organized using the principles found here each month.
Invest with the comfort and knowledge that you have a disciplined, long-term strategy. I help you plot your investment map monthly. If you’ve been with me for many years, you know the consistent approach used month to month to month. Over my three decades of investing, I’ve developed a series of disciplines that work well for me, with high odds of success. Each month I stick to these and emphasize their long-term success for you.
You don’t have to face the emotional task of investing alone. You should seek the guidance of a trusted fiduciary advisor, who will guide you through the construction of an investment plan, and give you the confidence to stick with that plan when times get tough.
If you’d like a glimpse at what a trusted advisor offers investors, signup for the monthly client letter alerts from my family run investment counsel firm. Each month in the letter my son Matt, President and CEO of Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd., explains the ongoing strategies we employ on our clients’ behalf. The letter is free, even for non-clients, and you will receive an alert each month when the newest is available. Click here to sign up.