Insights and wisdom from great investors

Market volatility is an inescapable part of being an investor. But in times of uncertainty, it can be easy for our emotions to take over, prompting us to ‘run for cover’. So, here are some quotes from history’s greatest investing minds – to help you stay the course.

  • The stock market is a device to transfer money from the impatient to the patient – Warren Buffett, business magnate and investor

Highly-regarded as one of the most successful investors in modern history, Warren Buffett knows a thing or two about the importance of patience in investing. The impatient are the people who try to ‘time the market’, but by doing so likely lose money, indirectly ‘transferring’ it to patient people who stuck with their long-term plan. 

  • The function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable – John Kenneth Galbraith, economist

Even the most seasoned economists can’t predict where the investment markets will go in the short term. But historically, we do know that markets grow over the long run. So, make sure you ignore the ‘noise’ and focus on your long-term strategy, based on your needs, goals, circumstances, and most importantly your risk profile. 

  • The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists – Benjamin Graham, economist

Investing is not just for the wealthy, and in many ways, it doesn’t require deep insight. As this famous Graham’s quote tells us, a good investor is one that makes rational decisions and keeps emotions, both positive and negative, under control. 

  • An investment in yourself pays the best interest – Benjamin Franklin, founding father of the United States

When it comes to investing, you can achieve better returns by educating yourself. Your whole investment journey is a learning process. It starts with understanding the fundamental principles: over time you’ll fine-tune your approach, learning more and more about how the market works, and even yourself and your emotional response. That’s how spending time to learn pays reliable dividends. 

  • Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack! – John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group

Unless you’re an experienced investor, picking individual shares (the ‘needle in the haystack’) can be time-consuming and risky, potentially leading to a lack of diversification. The alternative is to ‘buy the haystack, by choosing a fund that specialises in the type of shares you’re interested in. This way, you’ll put a bit of money into a diverse mix of shares, spreading out the risk and maximising your growth potential. 

  • An investor without investment objectives is like a traveller without a destination – Ralph Seger, founder of Provident Investment Management

To make the most of your investment journey, you need clear, measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. And it’s never too early to start. In fact, the longer you have to invest, the longer you have to grow your savings. As financial advisers, we can help you devise a strategy that’s aligned with you. 

  • In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable – Robert Arnott, entrepreneur and investor

The higher the (potential) risk level of your investment, the wider fluctuations in value it’s likely to experience. So, while low-risk options can be more comfortable, they’re also less likely to deliver higher returns than their riskier counterparts. 

Remember, time is your friend: the longer your investment horizon, the more risk you may be able to take with your investments. On the other hand, by trying to avoid investment risk at all costs, you may miss out on substantial growth opportunities. Or as US businesswoman Mellody Hobson once put it, “The biggest risk of all is not taking one.”

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Wherever you are on your investing journey, we can help you review your investment strategy and ensure that it’s aligned with your risk profile and investment time horizon. Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more. We’re here to help.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.