Today, we are going to talk about art, not the type of art that I display on this website, but one that is very close. One that allows me to build and guarantee the success of my artistic enterprise. The kind of art that is, in fact, a major asset to succeed in all areas of life. The art of investing.
What is the art of investing? Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s start with a definition of investing that I think is the most common, namely the “financial-economic” definition.
*“Investing is the act of allocating resources, usually money, with the expectation of generating an income or profit, typically in the long run.”
Now, we’re ready to go deeper into the subject, but first I’d like to tell you a little story.
About two years ago, while surfing on YouTube, I came across the interview of an American economist and business leader who was advocating financial freedom through stock market investing. As I listened to what he had to say, which seemed to make a lot of sense to me, what started out as a simple curiosity quickly turned into a growing interest. By the end of his interview, this man had convinced me to explore his idea. So I began to read more and more about the subject and discovered the world of the stock exchange and investing. A world where it was apparently possible to make millions in a short period of time, simply by putting your money into a promising young company that, from one day to the next, would rise to the rank of the multinationals of this world, thanks to its revolutionary product or technology. A world where, it seems, the powerful of this world gravitate towards and where you watch money work for you relentlessly and multiply endlessly.
“What a brilliant idea! That’s why rich people are so rich!” I thought to myself. So I opened an investment account at my bank and started taking a course in stock market investing, especially in stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, and options. The more knowledge and confidence I gained, the more money I invested. After nine months, I felt I had developed an acumen for profitable startups of all kinds, whether in cryptocurrency, medicinal cannabis, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and bioprinting, electric bus batteries, drones, gold mining, in short, I had acquired, in my grandiose ego, the “eye of the investor”.
Then one morning, as I logged into my investment account, I realized that the stock market had experienced a big dip. This is the part of the story where I should tell you that I lost all my money but… No. Well, to tell you the truth, I lost some money, yes, but I also made some. I even made more than I lost. Do you know why? Because in the course of that year-long course on investing, I realized that what made me a more or less effective investor was not choosing the right financial vehicle at the right time, but rather investing in my knowledge; investing in myself basically. Taking a course to learn about a subject that was totally foreign to me a year earlier was, in fact, my best investment. Now I apologize for my little story being a little longer than expected, but now that you’re here, please follow me to the end of my reasoning. Come on, it’s almost over. So…
What is the art of investing?
From my journey as an apprentice investor, I have come to the conclusion that investing in any line of business is an art that requires the development of a number of skills, including the following:
- time management; unlike our money, our time is a priceless resource because it is limited and can’t be earned back. Spending a considerable amount of time procrastinating can therefore be costlier on the scale of our lifetime than spending money impulsively and chronically. It is therefore important to invest our time in things that make our lives productive and enjoyable in the long run;
- patience; learning to control our emotions and impulses and not giving in to instant gratification. As the American billionaire investor Warren Buffett said, “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” So, contrary to popular belief, a juicy investment requires unfailing patience;
- action; working continuously towards the goal you have set because, just like a financial investment, investing in yourself through action is subject to the law of compound interest. Simply put, the more you invest, the more you earn or learn (interest), then you reinvest your earnings and learned lessons into action (principal). In doing so, your return on investment becomes unlimited;
- measuring risk; investing in anything involves a margin of risk. Generally, the bigger the risk, the bigger the gain, but also the bigger the potential loss. Therefore, knowing how to measure risk allows you to minimize it and lose less. Paradoxically, a big loss can also be a big gain, if you decide to learn from it and analyze your mistakes to win better. In the latter case, you always win, and as Nelson Mandela said, “you never lose, you either win or you learn”.
So it is in this spirit that I invest in my art business and more specifically in myself, through painting classes, art entrepreneurship courses and books, inspirational podcasts, morning and night meditations, play time with my kids, intimate time with my partner, a good night’s restful sleep. In short, for me, investing is a way of life, and the best investment is me.
As usual, I always have a little word for you at the end. So I urge you to make of yourself the best investment in order to obtain a great return, a life richer in love, health, money, knowledge, positive emotions, and all the other joyful fruits of life. But don’t forget, you’re in for the long run!