Is it Over for the Long-Term Investor?

Long-term portfolios are getting bludgeoned.

I can feel the pain of the long-term investor.

Is it over for this niche segment?

I really wouldn’t say that.

It’s not over till the fat lady sings, as somebody said.

What if someone trained hard so as to not allow the fat lady from starting her performance in the first place?

Well, for this breed, it’s not over by a long way. In fact, things are just getting started.

And what are the areas of training?

First and foremost, for the millionth time, one needs to understand what margin of safety is. In this era of black swans, one can fine-tune this area with the word “large”. So, simple and straight-forward: the long-term investor needs to buy with a large margin of safety.

This is a game of PATIENCE. Patiently wait for entry. Entry is the most important act while investing. If you cannot learn to be patient, change your line. Be a trader instead.

However scarce the virtues of honesty and integrity have become, keep looking. When you finally find them in a company, ear-mark the company for a buy. For you, managements need to be intelligent and shareholder-friendly too. They need to be evolved enough to take you into account as a shareholder. Keep looking for such managements, and you’ll be amazed at the unfolding potential of diligent human capital.

Before you enter this arena, answer another question please? Have you learnt to sit? If you don’t even know what this question means, you are by no means ready for the game.

So, when is one capable of sitting through some serious knocks, like now? If the money you’ve put on the line is not required for the next 5 to 10 years, you’ve totally helped your cause. Then, your risk-profile should fit the pattern. If a knock causes you an ulcer, just forget about the game and look for another game that doesn’t cause you an ulcer. Your margin of safety will help you take the knock. Knowing that your money has bought a stake with honest and diligent people who can work their way around inflation will help your cause even more.

If you are taking a very serious hit right now, you need to decide something. Are you gonna sit it out? Can you afford to, age-wise and health-wise? Yes? Fine, go ahead. I sat it out in 2008. If I could do it, so can you. It did take a lot. Taught me a lot too. I now know so much more about myself. Was a rough ride, is all I can say. Nevertheless, it’s a good option if age and health support you. If you decide to sit it out, please train yourself, from this point onwards, to do it right. Needless to say, don’t make the same mistakes again. Let’s be very clear about this point. If you are feeling pain at this point, it’s because you have made one or more investing mistakes. Don’t blame the market, or the times. This is your pain, because of your mistakes. Take responsibity for your actions. Do it right from here onwards.

If you can’t take the hit anymore, age-wise or health-wise, then you need to reflect. It’s none of my business to tell you to sell out. That would be inappropriate. All the same, as a friend, I would like you to ask yourself if you feel you are cut out for this niche segment. There are other very successful niche-segments. I know highly successful traders who started out as miserable long-term investors. So, just this one thing, get the questioning process started. Now. Then, listen to your inner voice and decide what you want to do.

There’s this one other point. Some people feel they can focus on both these segments simutaneously. You know, trade in one portfolio and maintain another long-term portfolio. Possible. People are doing it. I’m not about to start a discussion on focus versus diversification just now, because I’m leaving it for another day. Not because I don’t possess the mettle, but because I’m a little tired just now.

Wish you safe investing! ūüôā

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