The Power of Patience
What Chess Can Teach Us about Investing in Volatile Times.
The average Grand Masters chess game spans anywhere from two to four hours.
Comparatively, I recall my early years playing chess. An impatient six-year-old, I was eager to attack the king, recklessly maneuvering pieces all over the board. This haste exposed me to vulnerabilities. I lost more than I won.
It’s a powerful lesson about the importance of patience in investing, balancing your defense and offense.
Complexity and Chaos
Financial planning is complex. Even the best-laid plan can be disrupted by a variety of unforeseeable factors: volatility caused by geopolitical unrest or maybe even a pandemic; inflation; career disruptions; and health emergencies, to name a few.
In these situations, it’s easy to react rashly—which often leads to mistakes that you wish you could take back. That’s why it’s essential to slow down and “study the board,” so to speak. Return to your goals and filter out the noise.
Sometimes analysis can lead to paralysis, a condition familiar to many investors. This is when a financial planner becomes an invaluable partner, helping you to simplify the complexities and make sound decisions.
Patience at Work
Consider investor and tycoon Warren Buffett. Surprisingly, his rate of return isn’t the highest. Several hedge fund managers have outperformed him—some by double. Yet, he remains one of the wealthiest individuals globally. How?
The secret lies in his enduring patience.
Buffett started investing at age 12 and, now in his 90s, has enjoyed the remarkable benefits of compound interest over time. His approach to investing is akin to playing a prolonged game of chess. He doesn’t overreact to the market’s fluctuations and allows his strategies to work over an extended period.
This unwavering patience pays off. Clients who barely look at their accounts often do better and experience greater financial peace of mind than those who monitor their accounts weekly, or even daily.
The Winning Move: Patience
If you have a sound strategy and stay patient, success in investing is more likely. Just as in a game of chess, where a single hasty move can spell disaster, overreacting in investing can lead to financial losses.
In the end, it’s about smart moves—not quick ones. When it comes to investing, patience isn’t just a virtue; it’s a winning move.