Name a famous investor. Got one?
Think about that for a second. Why would you - presumably someone who doesn't work in finance - know any famous investors? There's only two possible reasons - either they are really, really good - or they are really, really bad.
If you have a bad one in mind, like a Bernie Madoff, try to think of a good one. We're not about to talk of financial scams and the rotten souls that run them.
So who did you think of? Was it one of these people?
All of these people are famously GOOD investors. And do you know what these people have in common? They are all long-term investors. But don't take my word for it.
Warren Buffet: "Our favorite holding period is forever."
Jack Bogle: "Ask yourself: Am I an investor, or am I a speculator? An investor is a person who owns business and holds it forever and enjoys the returns that U.S. businesses have earned since the beginning of time. Speculation is betting on price. Speculation has no place in the portfolio or the kit of the typical investor."
Charles Munger: "It's waiting that helps you as an investor, and a lot of people just can't stand to wait. If you didn't get the deferred-gratification gene, you've got to work very hard to overcome that.”
Peter Templeton: "The best time to invest is when you have money. This is because history suggests it is not timing the markets that matters, it is time."
William Bernstein: "Do the math. Expect catastrophes. Whatever happens, stay the course."
See the pattern?
If you thought of someone else, I'd wager if you looked into it, you'd find out they are long-term focused as well.
They are successful because they are focused on the long-term. They don't buy and sell based on what their crystal ball is predicting for the markets in the next 6 months. In fact, they don't even OWN a crystal ball.
They are in it for the long haul. They don't change their strategy when things get tough. And they have been rewarded.