“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late” Benjamin Franklin
When I was 19 I started investing in shares. My grandfather was a lifelong sharemarket investor and he encouraged me to get me started. When I say lifelong investor I mean he bought and held forever – he hated selling. He didn’t even like when a company he owned was taken over, especially if it was an overseas company!
At 19, I was part way through an Economics degree and thought I knew it all ( as most 19 year old’s do!). Over time I came to realise that I knew far less than my grandpa did back then.
He taught me some invaluable investment lessons:
- Be patient, investing is for the long term. Don’t check the price every day – it just encourages irrational decisions.
- The value of dividends – if you buy a decent investment at a decent price and over time the income increases – what a great result.
- Don’t be distracted by the noise of newspaper and magazine headlines – stick to your strategy. (And this was before the 24 hour news cycle!)
- Save regularly and save often – make it a lifelong habit.
These lessons have been important for me in shaping how I believe financial success is achieved.