Who Jumps Out of a Perfectly Good Airplane? Uh, We Do.
Goals are curious things. Some are short term, some long. Some are incredibly easy to attain; others may take a lifetime. And then some goals are achieved by just being patient. My son drew this picture at the age of 7.
It’s a picture of him parachuting with the caption: “When I grow up, I want to be a Navy SEAL so I can climb and parachute.” He first spoke about skydiving when he was 4 or 5. It may have been a combination of watching the movie, Point Break (top 5 all-time movies ever made) with me or me talking about skydiving myself.
As he grew, he never gave up his desire to skydive. His wish to be a SEAL waned somewhat when he learned they could be shot and killed. We’ll see if that goal remains in the picture.
For this goal, he only really had to exercise was patience. In our state at least, you must be 18 to be able to skydive. Of course, if he wanted it as his birthday gift, he had to maintain decent grades which he has.
When he reached his 18th birthday this August, his 50-something year old parents bought him and themselves three tickets to skydive. Our daughter, Natalie, expressed concerns about being left an orphan, but the jump(s) went off without a hitch. It’s an amazing feeling to almost fly and I would encourage everyone to experience it.
Patience is important in achieving financial goals as well. There is no get rich secret to investing successfully. As much as people would love to hear of a new technique to become wealthy overnight, there is no magical strategy. Investing takes time and patience.
I’m not a gambler. I’ve done football pools and NCAA brackets mainly for the entertainment. I can count the number of times I gambled at a casino on my business trips to Las Vegas. I don’t enjoy it. I feel like I’m just throwing money away. I think there’s a bit of self-deception that regular gamblers go through. Almost every gambler I’ve met is either up or is breaking even. With so few losers, it’s a wonder casinos stay in business.
Warren Buffett is the epitome of the successful investor. He built his billionaire portfolio over the course of his career by applying Benjamin Graham’s teachings on value investing. A cornerstone of value investing is investing for the long term. In other words, exhibiting discipline.
More than anything, it takes discipline to be a successful investor. You must save, invest, allocate, and re-balance on a regular basis. If you have a long-term goal (3 plus years), you should not try to time the market. As the adage goes, it’s better to have time in the market than time the market.
The easiest way to ensure you are being disciplined is to automate your savings and investing. Do you have a 401k at work? You should, at a minimum, be contributing up to the company match. It’s free money, don’t lose it.
Then open an IRA, preferably a ROTH, create a regular electronic deposit and select funds for automatic investment.
Still able to squeeze out more from your paycheck? Open a taxable account to continue to build wealth. Oh yeah, and DO NOT carry credit card debt. Ever.
If you can exhibit patience and discipline while avoiding inertia, you can successfully build wealth. Regular savings plus consistent investing will help anyone succeed.
If you would like to discuss portfolio strategy or financial planning, please contact me. Feel free to share with others and make suggestions for future articles: firstname.lastname@example.org