Every New Year starts with the same old challenge. We encounter the same problem year after year. We feel compelled to fix our investment expectations for the next year? So, we tend to look at what the big names are saying. The drama unfolds towards the end of every year with several panel discussions, interviews with investment wizards and predictions by the year’s successful stock pickers constantly bombarding us. The drama peaks around January 1 every year with several repeat telecasts, the attendant hype around the New Year predictions and the unnatural sense of urgency we bring on ourselves to judge. This information overload mostly leads to perilous consequences. We suffer the adverse impact of proverbial optimism year after year. More often, this makes us fail to be optimistic when we actually need to. The culprit is our compelling urge to fix our expectations. As there is no escape from this urge, let us see how we can turn this mundane habit into a positive impact on our investing.
To expect more or less? This becomes a greater worry for investors than all else. It even relegates the need to invest sensibly and the need to stay patient. From experience, it is a no brainer to expect less from the markets. Expecting more always hurt investors when it happens at the wrong time. In every economic cycle, investors regret they didn’t invest enough when things were attractive and uncertain. This leads us to invest more when we actually should not be doing so. This happens cycle after cycle and the reason for this repetitive behavior is simple. Our investment hunger is not well managed and spaced over time. Instead, we tend to over-do and binge at the wrong hours even in our investing. Investment appetite needs to be managed better and to achieve that one should learn to focus less on predicting the future and more on conditioning the self. Expecting less always prepares us to manage ourselves better. We develop requisite patience and adequate investment hunger. We believe that investment hunger should be the top focus of every investor. In 2016, an investor must learn to generate and carry more hunger for equities. To achieve that he must expect less and stay patient. Only then can an investor take the road less travelled and make the journey right up to his investment destination. So let us resolve to expect less from the markets in 2016.
“When everybody is just guessing the future, I would rather focus on improving my investment behaviour.” – Shyam Sekhar.