“In life the challenge is not so much to figure out how best to play the game; the challenge is to figure out what game you’re playing.”

Kwame Anthony Appiah

One of the most important structures of any game, and investing is no different, is understanding the time frame of the game.  Investors often claim they are playing the long game, yet very few have the mental fortitude to actually leave their allocations alone for the long term.

Almost without fail the best performing assets are also ones that have suffered some of the worst falls from grace.  Intellectually investors might understand this, but fear of loss, protection of ever sensitive egos and compounded by the noise of everyone else stampeding for the exists makes ‘holding’ the strategy for this game a hard one to follow.

Perversely, the better you get at the game, the louder the clamour for you to change your strategy.  Few people would have been able to stand the years of negative headlines that Warren Buffett had to put up with during the Dot Com bubble.  But Buffett knew what game he was playing and what the time frames were.

Knowing the game and the rules is just your buy in to the table.  Understanding the timeframes and having the resolve to play to them is what keeps you in the game.

 

Author: Callum Laing
@LaingCallum
Linkedin.com/in/CallumLaing/