You know, investing is a lot like high school, especially when it comes to bonds. When you buy a bond, for example, you’re making an investment at a specific point in time with a set graduation date. If you hang in there, have patience, and don’t get kicked out, you graduate. But nothing’s guaranteed.
Your Survival Guy’s a big believer in the tough love of compounding experiences. Doing the work. Gaining knowledge. Learning the hard way, sometimes, having a little luck by just showing up. And somehow getting by.
That’s a lot of what high school and bond investing are both about.
Imagine if you didn’t show up. Imagine if you didn’t invest. Never mind if your prices are down, you might not have had any savings to begin with if you weren’t already a hard worker willing to sacrifice today’s indulgences for tomorrow’s security.
When I speak with fairly wealthy, highly successful individuals like you, we talk about how you got to where you are.
Every successful story is the same. You did without. You saved ‘til it hurt. You had some luck. You kept putting one foot in front of the other. And there’s no way you ever want to try to do it again because times are different today.
When you buy a bond, just like going to high school, there’s plenty of anxiety about the future. And about today. And about tomorrow.
I wish I could tell you it gets easier with age, but it doesn’t. As one client told me yesterday, “I was talking with my father, and he said the hard thing about getting old is everything aches, and you can never tell if you’re sick.”
Life is tough. There’s always uncertainty. Predicting tomorrow is an American pastime. It’s amazing how much time is wasted worrying and not acting—taking small steps to improve one’s situation.
Trusting the process. Dedicating oneself to a lifetime of learning, steady improvement, or kaizen, as the late great Edward Johnson III of the Fidelity family would explain in his memos. It’s a journey, not a destination. But not everyone is cut out for the voyage. Like life, some times will be better than others, but never forget the entire body of work and how far you’ve come.
Action Line: Imagine if you never saved a dime because you didn’t like how the market looked. (When does it ever look good enough?) Investing is a leap of faith. The good news? I believe in you. Let’s go.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.