When the markets have you second-guessing

“Genuine travellers travel not to overcome distance but to discover distance.”
James P Carse

Investing money is always a paradox: it’s simple, complex, straightforward, challenging, mathematical, and unpredictable. It’s because of our emotional influence that plays a significant role in every decision we make.

When investing in the markets, many have said it’s all about time in the markets, not timing the markets. When trying to time the markets, our emotions can offset our mathematical thinking and trigger our unpredictable, irrational thinking. Just like the genuine traveller, who would more often choose the scenic route than the shortcut, we cannot allow panic to have us second-guessing and looking for a shortcut to sustainable wealth.

Seasoned investors, like genuine travellers, know that the markets will always have twists and turns, hills and valleys. They often choose the road less travelled because it’s about discovering, not overcoming. But it’s also not always about taking a longer route as much as it is about realising that the course may have unexpected scenery, delays or alternate routes.

Another helpful comparison from this analogy is that successful, memorable trips often have a navigator and a map. In our financial journey, when the road gets hairy or it looks like we’re heading off course, we need someone to help us check in on our map to either assure us that we’re on the right road or quickly find alternatives for us.

The markets and your investment strategy will always have you second-guessing; that’s simply the nature of important decisions. Every big decision we make will always present many alternatives and that’s why it’s helpful to have relationships with people we trust and respect to help us make and stick to our best decisions.

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