Odysseus: The Resourceful Investor

Investors need to be resourceful.

Whether it’s reading a set of financial statements or watching the Federal Reserve Chair talk about the economy, investors need to use all their wits to understand what’s going on. There are myriad difficulties and distractions that would keep us from accomplishing our goals. We have to think clearly and creatively.

The Greek hero Odysseus faced the same problem. After the Trojan war, each of the leaders headed back home. Odysseus faced one of the longer journeys, as his home island of Ithaca was on the other side of the Greek peninsula, over 500 miles away.

On the way back he faces storms, monsters, enchanted islands, hostile and menacing hosts, and other challenges. While the war demanded physical prowess, the voyage home required mental and creative energy. There were times when Odysseus just wanted to quit. But each test called for a new response, and he eventually got back.

In the same way, investors face all kinds of issues—both external and internal. There are monsters and enchantments that would separate us from our money; there are distractions and temptations to give up; economic and financial storms can blow us off course. It’s during such times that we need to remember where we’re going and how we plan to get there.

Investing is an odyssey that can take us to uncharted waters. As with Odysseus, it’s our planning and perseverance that will get us home.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

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