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Don't Be A Bad Doctor, Have Some Patience

silver bell alarm clock

Reading a book won't make you a genius, eating a salad won't get you abs and buying a stock won't make you a millionaire. Successful investing (like success in most fields) require time and repetition. Nothing worthwhile is achieved quickly.

Patience unlocks the power of compound interest. Investors who save and invest regularly in an appropriate portfolio will experience extraordinary growth over time.

The ability to think long-term is one of the few advantages that individual investors have over professionals. Professional fund managers have massive advantages over individuals (information, technology, manpower, etc.), but they don't have the luxury of being able to think long-term. Most fund managers report performance quarterly and they want to show strong results every single time. They act for the short-term - impatient investing.

Impatient investing involves active trading. As we've discussed before, trading is very hard. Impatient investors struggle due to poor market timing and paying exponentially higher fees and taxes due to frequent trading.

A 2014 study by the Federal Reserve showed investors who practiced a buy-and-hold strategy outperformed active investors by up to 5% annually. For the 7 year period studied, this led to a 40% difference in total return.

"Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant,"

- Warren Buffet

Long-term investing consists of almost doing nothing, and herein lies it's difficulty. Doing nothing is boring and doing something gives you a sense of control. Investing is one of the rare areas in life where trying harder isn't better. The ability to do less is what separates the winners from the losers.

There's common expression in investing - your portfolio is like a bar of soap, the more you mess with it, the smaller it’ll get.

Don't be a bad doctor, have some patience.


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