Our cat and dog have very different approaches to life. Both were “rescues,” but the similarity ends there. Our cat is playful and mischievous. When I get up in the morning, she jumps up and follows me to the kitchen. She sits on a chair next to me as I type, begging me to dangle a hand or string where she can swat it. If I’m concentrating on something, she’ll sit on the desk or table in front of me and watch while I work.
Our dog, on the other hand, just wants to sleep in the morning. When I turn on the lights, she’ll squint, stretch, and head to a dark place where she get a little more shuteye. Unless I whisper the word “treat.” Then she’s transformed into an enthusiastic, wiggling, tail-wagging dynamo. For the most part, however, she’s patient and quiet; some might even say she’s lazy.
Source: Pixabay. CC0.
Some people invest like my cat. They’re always moving, always changing, always ready for something new or different. When a bright, shiny object comes into view, they can’t help themselves: they have to look, explore, and bat it around. Others are more like our dog: Just quiet and resting, but when a code-word is spoken – recession or bubble or cashflow – they jump up and get moving.
Perhaps the most important key to successful investing is to know yourself: your tendencies, preferences, and limitations. If you’re active and curious, make sure your curiosity doesn’t get you into trouble. Cat-like investors need to work hard to stay patient. If you’re more restful and opportunistic, make sure you don’t sleep through what’s important. Keep an ear tuned to what’s happening in the economy and the markets. You may get an unexpected treat.
Photo: Kitty.Green66. Source: Flikr. CC-BY-SA 2.0
We can learn a lot about ourselves by watching our animals. Both dog-investing and cat-investing have their merits. Lots of people may talk to their animals. But not very many listen.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”