Are investors leaders?
They should be. The same qualities that we see in the best leaders also serve investors well. Leaders need to have clear goals; they need to establish a culture of integrity; they need to understand what they can—and more importantly, cannot—do. And they need to communicate these values to those around them.
Virgil’s poem, The Aeneid, lays out these classic leadership elements: fatum, pietas, and virtus. Today we would call them vision, culture, and values. In this work, Virgil paints a picture of his ideal ruler: decisive, humble, just, honest, courageous, and so on. Investors who learn these lessons will know where they’re going and how to get there.
During his wanderings, Aeneas undergoes many hardships. In every instance, he reminds himself of his goal and the great empire he is destined to found. But he can’t compromise: his dalliance with Dido along the way caused heartache for him and was disastrous for her. In the same way, investors need to establish goals, avoid getting sidetracked, and pursue their plans with diligence.
The Aeneid is an epic poem about leadership. It tells the story of the establishment of Rome—its confusing, challenging, tumultuous founding. As we put our own resources to work, we do well if we look past present circumstances and focus on the future. Like Aeneas.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer