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Being patiently opportunistic

Published: 
Sunday, November 26, 2017

One of the best traits an investor can possess is patience.

In a world that thrives on activity, the individual who can control the need to “do something” and thus employ a judicious dose of patience will typically achieve the best investing results.

To be clear, patience is not synonymous with procrastination or mere laziness.

Rather, it is the ability to resist the temptation to make hasty investment decision until the right opportunity comes along for maximum returns.

Patient opportunism, or the ability to wait for bargains, is often the best investment strategy.

Many a successful investor have made their fortunes simply by acquiring assets that others are forced to sell. Put differently, if you wait for investments to come to you rather than go chasing them better buys can often be had.

An opportunist buys things because they’re offered at a bargain price.

There’s nothing special about buying when prices aren’t low.

Because markets are cyclical, having an understanding of where it stands is an extremely important guide to determining whether one should be patient on the one hand, or opportunistic on the other.

In boom times, prices deviate from value to such an extent that the very best investors often display steely resolve in the face of the hysteria around them.

Their patience keeps them in check.

Alternatively, in trough moments, these same investors, are able to tap their opportunistic side (and conserved resources) to capture valuable asset as their prices tumble.

History is replete with such examples.

Warren Buffett uses a wonderful baseball analogy (for those of us even remotely familiar with the game) to explain the value of being patiently opportunistic as an investor

“Investing is the greatest business in the world because you never have to swing. You stand at the plate, the pitcher throws offers at you at different prices and nobody calls a strike on you. There’s no penalty except opportunity. All day you wait for the pitch you like, and when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it”

Couldn’t have said it better myself|

Andre Worrell

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