Impatience Covers Up Other Purposes

It is a point of certainty that patience is a foundational part of successful investing.

“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient” Warren Buffett

In general, impatience is your enemy whenever the situation is complicated.

Activists can be impatient because they never have to do anything. The need for something to be done is one-dimensional and you can be as impatient as you want to be.

Where impatience is harming us on Covid-19 policy

New Zealand, in the face of five new cases decided to lockdown everything for three days. Three days makes little sense as the incubation period is much longer. It seems to be just for optics. The stated purpose was to eliminate the virus from the island.

Much of the rest of the world seems to be behaving the same way. Covid zero seems to be a goal. Of all the goals you could have for your Covid policy, this one is likely the dumbest. It is not the work of a year or two to make a virus disappear. How long did polio take? Measles? Small Pox? Decades not months.

Impatience is the nature of politics. Words are the stock in trade and urgent words are easy to deliver, and have power. Delivery on the promise though is much harder.

What would the patient people do?

They would have an objective idea of the time it would take.

Vaccines are a sound fist step, but over-reliance on ones that the virus will mutate around is iffy. Corona viruses are better than most at that. We can expect many variants before we know.

Muller’s Ratchet may help us make that step. It theorizes that as viruses mutate they lose lethality. That will at least reduce the urgency.

The patient would spend much more on treatment protocols. If it is going to take 10 years, or even longer, to eliminate the virus, in the interim treatment matters. That’s where the research should be now. There should be nothing that is untestable for political reasons. What do politics have to do with this question? Objective reality should be the forcing factor.

People need facts. Primarily what they can do for themselves. Does Vitamin D matter? Should they lose weight? Should they be cautious going out? Do masks work well enough to be worth the trouble? What is the mortality rate for the disease? Absent co-morbidities? People will make smart decisions when they have the information they need.

Assessing alternative interpretation of the information. I have noticed lately that Florida, Mississippi and Texas seem to have a lot of cases while many states have far fewer. Why? Could it be the policies in those states regarding masking and shutdowns? Maybe, but not likely. Consider that warm weather reduces the incidence of the disease.  In the north, winter is the problem time. People are inside in the winter. In Florida, for instance, summer is the inside season because it is hot and humid. In winter they are more likely to be outside. The real reason for the seasonality could be as simple as close contact indoors.

The takeaway

No complex situation lends itself to a simple solution

Many situations are complex because only some of the information has become known.

To provide complete answers with incomplete or potentially wrong information does more harm than good.

That governments are acting in contradiction to what seems known, speaks to their political intentions more than their intent to solve the problem. Ask a question. “If they solve Covid-19, would their political influence fall?”

Never assign a problem to someone who will be harmed if they solve it.

Always assume politicians have a hidden agenda. You won’t be often wrong.

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email It is a pint o certainty that patience is a foundational part of your approach to investing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: