在沙灘上學習投資

By Austin Pryor

當我碰到一個特別的投資決定時,我常常問自己這個問題:若在海灘的好時光可能會消失,那會如何影響我的決定?我享受在海灘的時間,所以那會引起我的注意。我知道我必需作出健全的判斷!例如,我已學會:

1. 確定基本的需要都照顧到了。我不能想要何時去海灘就隨時動身。為了確定我不需要在計畫的時間之前提早回來,我必需先做好重要的事:住宿?多餘的現金因應意外的支出?為了確定旅行中能安心,我必須作這些另人厭煩的準備。這也適用於財務的基本原則──例如在著手任何重大、可能有風險的投資之前,先要不負債並且為將來的需要儲蓄。

2. 訂下我的旅行計畫且遵循計畫。此計畫包括設定我的衛星導航系統,這樣我才知道怎麼開到我的目的地。準時離開。安全地開車。而且不走不在計畫中的道路。這可能聽起來像是一個無聊的旅行,但目標是要安全且準時抵達,而不是要讓開車變得特別驚險有趣。。對於達到我的退休目標,我也會用同樣的方式。我樂意用驚險興奮的旅程去換安全且適時的到達,這意味著按照我個人的股票/債券分配計畫,且盡量多樣化。

3. 若把皮膚曬成棕色是你的目標,要有耐心。
我不願冒風險,快速把皮膚曬成棕色。那太容易曬傷。我已學會用簡易的方法把皮膚曬成棕色。雜誌、研習會、網站和有線電視上的那些大師所教的曝曬方法太令人困惑。將皮膚曬成棕色和財務投資都沒有那麼複雜。若你遵循基本原則,並且不要做得太多、太快,你就不會出錯。

4. 不要在意短期的波動。
我喜歡在海灘上讀書,且把椅子放在水邊。但訣竅是隨時移動我的椅子,這樣我才不會被浪打濕。海浪有它的趨勢,但我已學到人無法預測一個特別的浪頭會有什麼作為。我可能以為浪會停在三呎外,但卻被打濕了。短期來看,海浪是完全捉摸不定的;但長期而言它們是可預測的。所以我已學會根據我所知道的潮汐圖(和財務趨勢)以及過去行得通的事來計畫我的行動,而非根據海浪現在的作為。

5. 我不與別人比較。這可能很難。在海灘上我幾乎不是一個令人印象深刻的人。若成為我在海灘上看到的某些令人印象深刻的人,一定是很棒的事。但我記住我在沙灘的運動是為像我這種人量身打造的──一個想要在海灘生活與家庭、工作和其他種種之間取得平衡的老人。

若放棄我那量力而為、平穩的運動行程,而採用為年輕人設計的激烈運動計畫,那會是個錯誤。最後我只會傷了自己。

6. 預計會有幾天下雨。
若我們在海灘停留兩週,我們預計會有一兩天下雨。即使出現暴風雨,我們也不放棄計劃,打道回府。我們事先知道這可能會發生,所以我們有替代方案來度過暴風雨
──我們可以帶錄放影機和遊戲用品。我們致力於好好去過這兩個禮拜。我們不因這暴風雨會帶來另一場大洪水而失望。相反的,我們適應這一切,享受地玩那些遊戲,並期待第二天是豔陽天。

箴言21章5節告訴我們:「殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。」殷勤,不論是為假期作準備或為一生投資,都會帶來報酬。

若你想要得到更深刻的投資洞見,到海灘旅行可能是一個明智的作法。你可能會驚訝地發現在那裡有許多功課等著你去學。

奧思汀.普萊爾有三十年的投資顧問經驗,且是「健全心智投資」新聞信和網站的創辦人。他與結褵45年的妻子蘇西住在肯塔基州的Louisville。

思想 / 討論題目
你對於透過在海灘度假這種似乎不相關的活動來學習個人理財和投資的點子有何看法? 本文作者從海灘學到的功課中,哪一項對你目前最有意義?為什麼? 你不同意作者的哪一種觀念?請解釋。 在本篇「週一嗎哪」的結尾引述了箴言21章5節。這節經文對你有什麼意義?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言11章24-26節,13章11節,15章16節,19章17節,22章7、9節,24章27節;馬太福音6章19-21、25-34節

LEARNING ABOUT INVESTING . . . AT THE BEACH
By Austin Pryor

When I approach a particular investment decision, I often ask myself this question: If a good time at the beach was at stake, how would that influence my decision? I enjoy time at the beach, so that gets my attention. I realize I need to use sound judgment! For example, have learned to:

1. Make sure the basics are covered. I cannot simply leave for the beach any time I want. To assure we do not have to return sooner than planned, important work must be done first: Accommodations? Extra cash to cover unexpected expenses? To ensure peace of mind during my trip, these tedious preparations must be made beforehand. The same applies to financial basics – such as getting debt-free and saving for future needs – before embarking on any grand, and possibly risky investing adventure.

2. Devise my travel plan and stick with it. The plan includes setting my GPS so I know the way. Leaving on time. Driving safely. And not taking unplanned detours. This may sound like a boring trip, but the idea is not for the drive to be particularly interesting. The goal is to arrive safely and on time. I feel the same way about reaching my retirement goals. I will gladly trade an exciting journey for a safe and timely arrival, which means following my personalized stock/bond allocation plan, with plenty of diversification.

3. Be patient when a tan is your goal. I do not go for high-risk, get-tanned-quick strategies. It is too easy to get burned. I have learned to keep my tanning strategy simple. Magazines, seminars, websites, and cable television programs by tanning gurus can be confusing. Tanning – and financial investing – is not that complicated. If you follow the basics and try not to do too much too soon, you will not go wrong.

4. Ignore short-term wave patterns. I like to read on the beach, with my chair right at water’s edge. The trick is to move my chair from time to time so I do not get soaked by incoming waves. There is a trend, but I have learned you cannot predict what a particular incoming wave will do. I might believe it will stop three feet away, only to get drenched. Short-term, the waves are completely erratic, but longer-term they are predictable. So I have learned to plan my moves based on what I know about the tide charts (and financial trends) and what has worked in the past, not what the waves may be doing at the moment.

5. Do not compare myself with others. This can be hard. I am hardly an imposing figure on the beach. It would be great to look like some of the other men I see there. But, I remember my beach diet/workout strategy is tailored to who I am – an older guy trying to balance beach life with family, work, and so on.

It would be a mistake to abandon my measured, steady-as-you-go schedule and follow a more aggressive plan designed for younger men. I would only end up hurting myself.

6. Expect a few rainy days. If we are at the beach for two weeks, we can expect a summer shower or two during that time. Even if a heavy thunderstorm shows up, we do not abandon our plans and pack for home. We knew ahead of time this could happen, so we had a back-up strategy for weathering the storm – why we take the video and board games along. We are committed for the entire two weeks. We do not despair that the storm is going to lead to another Great Flood. Instead, we settle in, enjoy playing the games, and look forward to the next sunny day.

Proverbs 21:5 tells us, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Diligence, whether in preparing for a vacation or investing for a lifetime, brings its own reward.

If you want more profound investing insights, it could be wise to make your own trip to the beach. You might be surprised at the lessons awaiting you there.

Austin Pryor has three decades of experience in advising investors, and is the founder of the Sound Mind Investing newsletter and website. Austin lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with Susie, his wife of 45 years.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What do you think about the idea of learning principles for personal finances and investing through the seemingly unrelated activity of taking a vacation at a beach setting? Which of Mr. Pryor”s lessons from the beach seems most meaningful for you right now? Why? Do you find any of his concepts that you disagree with? Explain your answer. At the end of this “Monday Manna,” a Bible verse – Proverbs 21:5 – is included. What, if anything, does this passage mean for you?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 11:24-26, 13:11, 15:16, 19:17, 22:7,9, 24:27; Matthew 6:19-21, 25-34

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