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Phuket Finance: Endurance and persistence

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PHUKET: Recently Phuket saw some of the best triathletes in the world descend on the island to participate in the Laguna Phuket Ironman 70.3 Triathlon. While I am extremely slow, I am a very keen endurance athlete.

I do this race every year, as well as the marathon here, and am currently registered for my second full Ironman race next August in Indonesia.

The parallels between investing and torturing oneself during one of these events have always been very evident to me, especially considering how long the current funk of the global economy has persisted for. Endurance and persistence are two traits that all investors need in these current difficult times.

Investing is not a sprint to say the least. You slowly make and save money over the course of your life, and you try to find relatively safe places where it can grow and become a nest egg to take care of you when you can no longer work. Similar to an endurance event, there are inevitable ups and downs.

The intensity you experience while in the middle of a “down” is something that in hindsight always seems as if it was easily manageable, but can make you lose all rationality at the time.

The main thing in either endeavor is to have a solid strategy, and then to stick with it no matter what happens.

While this sounds very easy, the time when discipline is most required is when you are in the midst of the most pain, for example when your portfolio is basing or ticking downwards. This is when our minds by their very nature will try to tempt us into making a decision we will no doubt look back on and regret.

Similar to the way our bodies release another round of endorphins and other goodies just when we near our breaking point, as long as we keep going, the markets always reward those who don’t bail on a strategy when things are looking their worst.

I myself have been victim of “selling the bottom” more than once in my career, only to see the disposed assets go sky rocketing as soon as I am no longer a part of them. Those lessons have luckily been burned into my memory banks, in the same way as I have learned that when you experience that very fleeting relief if you stop running in the middle of an event, you pay for it for a long time as you look back at what could have been.

In easy times investing is said to make morons look like geniuses, but in times like these it is those who can persist and endure and avoid making rash decisions that will come out on top.

There is no shortage of pain in the financial markets these days, and every week bad news begs the question “have things really changed forever?”. If you can protect your principal and keep in the game, and just keep moving forward – no matter how slowly – you will eventually reach the finish line. If you do something drastic in a moment of weakness and blow-up, you may be looking back in regret for a long time to come.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expats around the globe, focusing on UK pension transfers. He can be reached at david.m@faramond.com or 085-335-8573.

— David Mayes

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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