To have fun though you have to first of all know thyself because there are two types of investors who evolve from our quantum theory of investing….the settlers and the pioneers…and a bit more.
Viewing spring at dawn from the front porch of one of our original North Carolina farm houses kind of exemplifies the importance of adaptation and evolution in investing.
Comfort is one of the most important aspects of successful investing. If we make investments not in keeping with our nature, we will not be comfortable. Without comfort, we are more likely to second guess and screw up. Restlessness and worry reduce the joy of affluence and reduce investing effectiveness as well.
All of us need to invest in things and do business that we feel is right… that is fun.
For example when Merri and I moved out here to our farm, many of our friends thought we were nuts. Not only has this country living added years to our life, it is probably the best investment we ever made. Every year, the move feels more correct, especially at this time of the year when we have scenes around the farm like this.
Living deep in the Blue Ridge might not seem like a logical place to learn about international investing, but being in nature like this gives me perspective.
Spring shot from our front patio.
I learn more about change and adaption by contemplating the green spring eruption in the forest like this than reading a day’s worth of financial reports…especially in hectic times of turmoil…
The trees says, “Who cares if the stock market is down. “It’s spring. Time to wake up!”
Lance Armstrong summed this idea up in a Time magazine article when asked about who to listen to about what to do in life when he said: “The important thing is to go around (collect data-get information). Then you really start to weigh your options. Which one feels right? It may not be the right decision, but it’s what makes you feel right.”
This understanding is vital in life, investing and business.
Know that ultimately you must make decisions for yourself. Know that you can’t know everything. Know that not every decision will be right in that it brings a profit, but also know that if each investment you make whether in time, money or energy feels right for you, you are likely to improve your odds of success.
Answering, “Who am I?” is complicated but easier to understand when we realize that most people fall into one of six categories:
#2: Early Adapters
#3: Early Majority
#4: Late Majority
#5: Deliberate Skeptical Mass
(I advise everyone to read and study all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books…these genius ideas are from The Tipping Point.)
To understand this better let’s look at a study of a “diffusion model” from an analysis of the spread of hybrid seed corn introduced in Greene County Iowa in the 1930s. The hybrid seed which was superior in every way to the commonly used seed was first introduced in 1928.
Of the 259 farmers only a couple planted the seed the first year and through 1933.
In 1934 16 used the seed.
In 1935 21 more, then 36 more and in 1938 the number increased by 61.
The years after 46, 36, 14 and then 3 started using the seed. In 1941 all but two farmers were using the seed.
Of the 259, the innovators were the first handful that began.
The small numbers that then jumped on the band wagon from 1929 to 1933 were the early adapters.
The early and late majority began using the seed in 1936 to 1938.
The late and skeptical mass did not try it until after the most respected farmers had proven its worth.
The laggards never did make the shift or waited till much later.
This diffusion is quite typical of all things. One could study the use of faxes, cell phones, computers, etc. and see a similar diffusion.
What type are you? The type is not important. None is better than another.
Knowing what you are is the key because each category has a way of investing that can succeed if it is true to itself.
Suit yourself if you really want success…and then be willing to adapt to change in a way that feels right for you.
Charles Darwin expressed great wisdom when he said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Whether you are an early adapter who invests now while the market is falling in alternative investments, or a laggard who holds back his or her cash and waits…do what feels right to you.
Stick to the basics. Always look for good value. Do not let fear OR greed tempt you to do something that does not feel right to you just because everyone else does. Remember truth is not created by the continuous repetition of an error. The majority of investors and businesses that start in most markets are wrong most of the time so you cannot depend on following the masses.
If everyone seems panicked and is selling, but it feels right for you to buy…and you have value reason for doing so…and that makes sense to you…then, do it! Likewise if the market is screaming up and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon..yet you have reasons that makes sense to you to sell…do it.
Know yourself. Do what feels right for you. Always seek good value. This is a formula that will rarely lose.
Until next message, may your feeling right never be left behind.
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