A colleague of mine recently told me that he’d given up on his business and was moving back into the corporate arena in a “safe” job with a set salary (plus bonuses!). Our conversation came at a time when things in my world were spinning like crazy.
I thought if he can jump ship, then surely I can do the same! I went online to the job ads and found in an instant the most perfect job for me. It satisfied all my criteria for the kind of work I want to be doing and the base salary was pretty good too. Twenty minutes later I’d updated my resume and sent off a couple of job applications. The excitement I felt was exhilarating. This time next month I could be working for someone else and out of the financial planning game.
After a few conversations with some very wise friends and time to deliberate and reflect on what was important to me, I realised that right now I am at the tipping point with my business. That any minute now all the hard work I have invested over the last 12 years will catapult me to the success I envisioned. That if I were to exit now I would be throwing away 12 years of time, energy and commitment to a long-term goal.
I decided that for me it would be more courageous to stay with my business, to see through my plans, to achieve my goals, to finish the job, to not quit.
In a similar way it is important not to quit on your financial plans, as the strategies for wealth creation are often put in place for you to achieve a long term goal and to quit before you reach your destination is to give up on the nature of the markets.
Markets move in cycles and while we’ve had an incredibly rough 5 years, there will always be uncertainties and downturns on the road ahead. To take an exit (such as moving to cash, cancelling a regular investment programme or sitting on the sidelines waiting for an entry point) and not stay your course is to quit.
Long term investing takes time, discipline and strategy. It is the waiting and the discipline that trips up most investors as they tend to be swayed by their emotions and short term noise.
Your financial advisor is there to offer you guidance, coaching and disciplined principles to help you stay the course and help you meet your long term goals. To change tack part way through is to give up on your plans before you’ve given them opportunity to come to full fruition.
Success comes just after the moment you pull out your hair, scream and cry a lot and tell your mates you’ve had enough. Don’t quit. Instead, get wise counsel from the experts.