One of my mentors is an art dealer. He specializes in art from the middle ages. Last time we met, he showed me a part of his personal collection. Impressed by the size of the collection, I asked how long it took to accumulate everything.
He said “45 years,” and then he laughed when I looked surprised. He continued:
“This is not something you can buy in one go. It’s not like going to the IKEA. Accumulating anything worthwhile in life takes time. First, because you don’t have the money to buy everything at once. Second, not everything is always available. You must wait for the right opportunity.”
And waiting is one of the hardest things in life. But if you take a close look around you, you see many examples of people who waited for the right opportunity.
Take all the investors who bought stocks and real estate during the financial crisis that started in 2008. That recession lasted several years. Recently, I spoke to someone who invested a big chunk of his assets in the stock market between 2009 and 2011.
He saved most of his money in the years that led to the crisis. Not because he predicted the global financial crisis that was sparked by subprime mortgages, but because he simply didn’t know what to do. So he spent his time learning about investing.
He also didn’t follow the market. Instead, he saved his money — and wasn’t tempted to invest it just because “the economy is great.”
But that’s not what most people do in prosperous times. When we see that the economy is growing, we think it’s the right time to invest and spend.
We feel optimistic and we trust the market. So what do we do? We look for “good” investments. All of us turn into part-time investors.
What’s even better, we make poor decisions without reading a single book on investing or without getting advice from knowledgeable people. It’s pretty much become standard human behavior in the 21st century.
More here – Darius Faroux