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Investor Mindset and The ‘One Big Challenge’

Helen Chorley, investor and former investment banker, comments

I’m going to jump straight in this month with a question. What is your absolute favourite wise quote about investing? In this age of internet wisdom, you have plenty to choose from. A simple scroll on any of the social media platforms and you’ll be accosted by a throng of pithy words, all vying for your thumbs up and your ‘how true’. It’s a wonder why some of us don’t end up inadvertently quoting them in our own pitches, or worse - thinking they were our own words, so ingrained are they into the subconscious. You might be surprised to know that this is one area I really don’t mind going with the crowd. If it’s good, solid advice from a credible industry voice, I’ll happily take heed.

So, have you thought of one? If you have, I’ll bet it’s from Warren Buffett. I’d put money on it. Because surely he’s the absolute don of money quotes. And because statistically it’s highly likely according to my Facebook feed. I’m not judging, I’ve shared a few of them of myself; my favourites probably being the ones which make me giggle. For example: ‘Calling someone who trades actively in the market an investor is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one-night stands a romantic.’ I love that one! And then what about the ones which are more strategic? ‘Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.’ Plenty to chew on. It does make me wonder though, when does a bit of punchy advice from a high profiler directly influence your own investing strategy? Do those exact words give you strength, when weighing up a deal?

There is someone who I follow closely, whose words I’ve always admired, and do try to recall in my strategy and self-development, and that’s hedge fund legend Ray Dalio. As many, if not all of you know, I don’t believe in industry ‘gurus.’ However, if you were to twist my arm, ever so gently, with encouraging words, it’s probably his name that I would utter. He’s not a guru, nor a mentor, nor a ‘coach’ in the internet sense. But definitely a leader and someone whose grounded messages around money and investing I really resonate with.

Something he talks about a lot is knowing our weaknesses. I know, nothing special there on the face of it. However, rather than taking the usual go-hard-or-go-home attitude or adopting a faux-humble approach to having weaknesses and fixing them (plenty of that online too), he suggests simply knowing them. Naming them. Writing notes about them. Getting to know them. Understanding their role in our strategy and the choices we make.

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