Photo: Anna Langova. Source: PublicDomainPictures
We have both a cat and a dog at home, from a shelter and rescue service, respectively. They have very different philosophies of life. Our cat is playful and mischievous. When I get up, she rises to greet me as I come out of the bedroom, follows me to the coffee-maker, then sits on a chair next to me as I write. Whenever I need to take a break, I can pet her, or she’s happy to swat at a dangling string. She’s curious.
Our dog, however, mostly wants to sleep. When I turn on the living room lights, she squints, stretches, and heads to an empty room where she can push in and get another couple hours of shuteye. If I need to head outside or say the word “treat,” however, she becomes an enthusiastic wiggling, bouncing, tail-wagging machine. Normally, though, she’s patient and quiet, some might even say lazy.
Source: Pixabay. CC0
Some investors are like my cat. They’re always moving, always changing, always ready for a new thing or different approach. When a bright, shiny object appears, they can’t help themselves: they have to look, explore, and bat it around. Others are more like our dog: content to be quiet and rest, but when a code-word is spoken – “walk”, “treat”, or just their name – they spring into action.
One of the keys to successful investing is to know yourself and your own tendencies. If you’re curious and active, just make sure you don’t do something stupid for the sake of doing something. Curiosity can kill the cat. Cat-like investors need to be sure they can stay patient. If you’re more restful and opportunistic, make sure you don’t sleep through the news. Keep an ear tuned to what’s happening in the economy or markets. You may get an unexpected treat.
Arthur Heier, “Three Curious Cats.” Source: Wiki
We can learn a lot about ourselves by watching those around us. It sometimes seems that dogs come when they’re called while cats take a message and get back to you, but both dog-investing and cat-investing have their merits. As A.A. Milne once said, lots of people talk to their animals. Not very many listen, though.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”