If you've ever awoken in the early hours just to make a quiet trek in hopes of landing the prize of a lifetime, you understand the process and joys of hunting. On a recent trip to Texas, I experienced these joys on a feral hog hunting excursion. Throughout my various trips, I've found hunting takes an unrivaled degree of precision, planning and patience. Though it may appear random to those who don't participate, hunting in fact requires a high degree of skill and an intense understanding of the landscapes and contributing factors that will guide your decisions moving forward. On this most recent trip, I reflected on just how many similarities hunting and investing truly share.
Whether you're hunting or investing, a few valuable principles could lead you to success.
Planning and Patience
It's a trite expression, but also a true one when it comes to hunting and investing: Patience is a virtue. The same way overly aggressive hunters often wind up scaring away their prize, those investors who try to aggressively game the system often find themselves disappointed. Investing, like hunting, is about playing the long game.
Further, when it comes to investing, your strategy shouldn't be put in place as you're making investment decisions. Mapping a broader picture of your goals and your timeline is key, as it ensures – should issues arise – you'll remain firm to the path you've created. Just as a good hunter makes plans well in advance, so does the wise investor plot out his course to success.
When hunting, it's vital you understand the behavior of the animal you're hunting. What is their primary habitat? What foods do they search for? What drives them away? Understanding these patterns and predicting them is the key to realizing success, and the same can be said of investing. It's no secret the market this year has been volatile. However, as an investment professional, understanding the long-term behavior of the market also helps us understand volatility is necessary for opportunity to make money in the marketplace.
If you're in it for the long haul, you understand investments will fluctuate. Losses in some form or timeline are indeed inevitable. However, by understanding these principles, you'll be less prone to making poor emotional decisions when it comes to your investments. As I've often said: An investor's worst enemy is not market volatility, it's the investor himself.
Enjoy the Journey
Like life, a great hunting trip is made by the people with whom you share it. While I've had some amazing moments in my hunting career, often the most enjoyable part of each trip is spending time relaxing and bonding with some great people.
I love my job and what I do. If I didn't, I would have stepped out of this profession long ago. However, I believe it's also important to never lose sight of what's really important in this world: caring for our family members, enjoying the company of loved ones, and being engaged with those in our lives.
Sometimes it's easy to get caught up on catching "the big one" on a hunt. You get your eyes set on a fantastic trophy and will stop at nothing to get it. Whether the big one hangs on your mantel or becomes the one that got away, the hunt is just as much about the journey as it is the destination.
In investing, it's tremendously important to set a goal and make adjustments along your path to reach that goal. It's equally important to never lose sight of why you've set your goal in the first place.
Whether you're hunting for a prized hog or forming a new investment strategy, I believe these principles can guide you to success. I wish you more than luck!
John Lindsey is President and CEO of Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management. After years of experience in executive leadership and finance, John founded Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management in 2012 to better serve his client base with an expanded universe of investment offerings. His biggest piece of advice is to always stay true to yourself and never compromise when that compromise would endanger your principles.