The Value of Patience

Making money in the stock market.

What are the necessary skills? You could take the CFA course and learn how to analyze securities, value businesses, and finance the transactions. You could learn about options, venture capital, bitcoins, or gold. You could trade often or seldom. You could have a highly diversified portfolio or one concentrated in a specialty.

Would skill matter? Probably, but not certainly.

Warren Buffett has stated that you don’t have to be smart, but you do have to be patient.

If you listen to some, the stock market looks high by historic standards. Maybe it won’t stay there or grow. Patience may be an issue soon. We should all understand patience.


The word patience comes from the Latin word patientia, meaning “suffering. The word pati means pain. To be patient is to suffer. Thus the reason most people have trouble with it. But if it is the key skill as Buffett suggests, what can we learn about it and what would be the reward?

“The thorough man of business knows that only by years of patient, unremitting attention to affairs can he earn his reward, which is the result, not of chance, but of well-devised means for the attainment to ends.” Andrew Carnegie

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” Benjamin Franklin

“If patience as an investor were easy, it wouldn’t pay so well.” Joe Magyer

Patience pays well. Learn a little about it.

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.” Brian Adams

“A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. And that is why we say that having a certain kind of temperament is more important than brains. You need to keep raw irrational emotion under control. You need patience and discipline and an ability to take losses and adversity without going crazy. You need an ability to not be driven crazy by extreme success.” Charlie Munger

Patience and discipline are a formidable combination. Perhaps we should see emotional responses as the signal to be more disciplined and more patient. Difficult, but worthwhile. A day at a time.

Patience is a time thing.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Leo Tolstoy

Many people are forced to be impatient because they did not start soon enough. Mortality has a time effect. If you wait too long, you will have taken time and made it your adversary instead of your ally.

Patience is a behaviour not a trait

“Patience is not about waiting, but how we act when things take longer than we expect.” Paolo Coelho

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” Robert H. Schuller

The failure of politics

Politicians cannot afford to be patient. They must be seen to be doing something now. There is an election coming, after all. That leads to ignoring patience as a friend and supporter. There is no reward in politics for being right in the long run. As the result there comes a short term force. The need to fix things in the present. For most, the long run is lunchtime Thursday.

You have the ability to avoid that. You are not up for re-election anytime soon. Keep the long goal at the forefront and act as if it is the most important thing. Be stubborn with your purpose.

The alternative is best described by a German word. “Verschlimmbessern”

“to take a bad thing and make it even worse in a misdirected attempt to improve it.”

Who has ever seen that happen?

I help business owners, professionals, and others understand and manage risk and other financial issues. To help them achieve their goals, I use tax efficiencies and design advantages to acquire more efficient income and larger, more liquid estates.

In previous careers, I have been a partner in a large, international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you. 705-927-4770

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