It’s not easy to be patient (The Financial Athlete #43)

A Meeting of Minds by Shue Tao
(story taken from Tri Thong Dang’s Beyond the Known, the Ultimate Goal of the Martial Arts)

A man was about to leave to take up an official post. A close friend came to see him off. “Remember when you become an official to always be patient.”

The man replied that he certainly would. His friend then repeated his good advice three times, and three times the man nodded in assent. When for the fourth time his friend repeated the counsel, the man became angry. “Do you take me for an idiot? Why do you repeat such a simple thing over and over again?”

His friend said, “See how it’s not easy to be patient? I have said that only a few times, and here you are already impatient!”

—————————————————————————-

Congratulations to Michael Phelps for winning 7 gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics…to date. His patience in swimming countless, lonely laps has paid off handsomely. Commercial endorsements will follow, and Phelps will never have to work another day in his life.

It is said, “Patience is a virtue.” More than a virtue, it is an increasingly rare quality. One which can create a life changing experience like Phelps’ in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The most rewarding experience with investing in real estate or stocks is watching the valuation of them grow higher and higher and then years later selling at a windfall profit. This too can be a life changing experience. But the patience of holding is tested with set backs and slower than hoped for progress time and time again.

If I’m invested in a company which remains on track with my investment thesis, and the market price does not substantially exceed my estimated valuation, then I patiently hold. Oh, but it’s not easy to be patient!

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