I’m always amazed at how busy the gym is at the beginning of a new year. I doubt this year will be an exception. The locker room will almost certainly be packed, but by mid February the crowd will be back to normal.
Everybody wants to be fit, healthy and wealthy, but attaining these
goals takes a lot of effort and a little luck. As with almost every
aspect of life, success doesn’t come just because you wish for it.
Except for rare occasions, you have to work for success and in most cases that means a lot of hard work and sacrifice
For example, you can’t simply wish to become a doctor. It’s an
admirable goal to be sure, but it requires countless hours of
schoolwork. And that means long nights at the library, exams that need
to be passed and, of course, residency at a hospital with long hours and
Many other professions follow a comparable path, but at the end of the day success is not achieved just by wishing for it.
Goal setting is also a huge part of your financial journey through
life. You don’t achieve financial independence just by wishing and
hoping for it. Again, there are rare occasions when that could happen.
You could win a lottery, get lucky at a casino or inherit a fortune from
a rich uncle.
But those are not things you can count on. The vast majority of
wealth is achieved by saving and investing on a regular basis. You have
to follow a well thought out plan and basically stick with it regardless
My experience as an advisor leads me to believe that many investors
act a little bit like those people that come to the gym and soon
Because they didn’t achieve their desired results, they either quit
or change direction. I’m not a fitness expert, but I do know it’s
difficult to change your physique in a short period of time. You
shouldn’t expect financial success to happen overnight either.
In the financial world, many investors become impatient too easily.
In the course of a lifetime they might get discouraged and either give
up or change strategies far too often. This is an especially important
point to keep in mind today.
I can’t tell you not to be disappointed if you look at your year-end
values and realize that 2015 was a down year. But I will tell you not to
be discouraged. A bump in the road doesn’t necessarily mean you need to
change your strategy entirely.
Might some reviews and modifications be in order? Of course. But
wholesale changes are often nothing more than an indication of
impatience. Patience is a common trait of many successful investors I
know. That and a good, firm grasp of your financial goals.
As we begin a New Year, I want to remind everyone that setting goals
is important. But just setting them is the easy part. The journey to
achieve your goals entails a lot of hard work and commitment.
One of the greatest dangers along the way is becoming impatient
during trying times and making wholesale changes to your strategy.
I’ve often said that successful investors need to have an iron stomach. I’m saying it again.