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Ben Kingsley Blog post by Ben Kingsley

Feeling Brave?

Who was it that said “fortune favours the brave?” Or who was it that got credit for it in the modern age, as I’m sure throughout history this comment would have been reeled off several hundreds of times around the world as men went to war for the control of land, its people and its wealth.

Fortunately, and pardon the pun, these days the saying is not as savage or severe when it comes to developed countries around the world.  The saying today, in my interpretation and when you look at it from an investor’s point of view, is more a reflection on those who either do their own thinking about these times, or those who listen to messengers who don’t get caught up in the issuing news of the immediate current day.  Please allow me to elaborate…..

‘Time is the great healer’ and with investment this message also rings true, as for every downturn in the fortunes of the markets there is an eventual upturn.  History, including recent history shows us that we have been able to manage through uncertain investment times and that in almost all markets, the good times eventually return.  Shall I refresh a few memories of the past 40 years until recent times?

  • 70’s: Vietnam War & Oil Crisis
  • 80’s: Floating of the Australian Dollar, Stock Market Crash of ‘87
  • 90’s: Recession we had to have, the introduction of the GST, Interest Rates at 18%+
  • 00’s: Wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan & Global Financial Crisis of 08/09
  • 10’s: Currently we have an unpopular Federal Government, as the Liberals have us believing we’re on an economic knife’s edge, which is simply not true but it makes for high ratings and newspaper sales so it’s a good media fodder.  And whilst the overall investment and economic sentiment of the globe takes its daily dose of the European Financial crisis, the Lib’s message also gets a listening ear from the public.

Yet with all this gloom and doom around one can quickly forget that recent report from AMP NATSEM clearly shows we are better off financially and in standard of living than in any previous time in history in our little ‘Lucky Country Australia’.  Which brings me back to my main point for fortune favouring the brave?  For smart long term investors, these are the times that we investors swim against the tide of popular opinion and these are usually our most prosperous times.  We get in as others are talking down the market, we get in when value levels represent smart buying, we get in when the risk is the lowest (as history will prove), we get in close to the bottom and enjoy the fulfilling ride that comes from the eventual improve.

Now just let me remind you that this is smart investing, we still need to understand the fundamentals, so not just any opportunity will do, we need to be strategic, we need to still hand pick the right property in the right location, we need to understand real value when we see real value.  If we are unsure then we need to seek independent professional advice, as reading this might inspire desire, but we need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves the honest question, do I really know what I am doing?  Do I really have the ability to pull this off or not, because fortune favours the brave, not the naive!

Knowledge is empowering – if you act on it!

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