Around four years ago I was practicing French with Debbie before a trip to Paris. I wrote then:
Je Me Sens Bien
As you read this month’s strategy report, Debbie and I will be in Paris. Practicing her French yesterday, Debbie asked me if I knew the meaning of je me sens bien, with James Brown as a clue. Well, not knowing for certain, I guessed, “I feel good,” a great James Brown lyric. Debbie was astounded that I got the quiz, as was I, because I really had no idea. So what gives? The answer lies in association. The rhythm of the four words simply brought the James Brown lyric to mind, literally out of the blue. These things can happen with association. It’s a mindset thing that isn’t always easy to explain. In recent days, given the extraordinary volatility in the financial markets, mindset and association are an especially vital concept for investors. When you are in the right place mentally, you can have no problem weathering volatility. If not, well…
Successful Investing Is a Mindset
As you know, I do not check the prices of my investments daily, weekly, or even monthly. I do an annual checkup only at tax time. When I make a significant investment, I have no intention of liquidation anytime soon. I am in for the long haul. Thus, short- or even medium-term volatility is of zero concern to me, beyond keeping an eye out for a name on my watch list that may have taken a temporary beating due to no particular fault of its own. So, then, successful investing is a mindset based upon a master plan that allows an investor to find comfort through thick or thin.
Since then, I have traveled to Paris many times, and I am in the city now, amidst the sad reaction to the burning of Notre Dame cathedral. People in Paris are not exactly feeling good. But there is hope. Much of the cathedral is still standing, and a city as old as Paris has endured tragedies of this kind before.
Revolutions, occupations, crippling riots and terrorist attacks have befallen Paris, but the city’s people have a way of focusing on the long-term. Quality, durability, and timelessness describe the aesthetic that has made Paris the center of the cultural world.
The lesson of Paris’s success is to focus on the long-term. Weave that principle into your investment portfolio, as well as your life in general. Avoid risk, compound your portfolio, and don’t let emotion guide your actions. Steadfastly adhering to such a plan will make you feel good.