Friday, 5 January 2018

A-Point-In-Time vs Over Time

A-point-in-time or over-time??

A short post.

Investment is a long journey of building wealth. It takes time and effort to understand businesses strength and future growth prospects.

I heard an interesting comment from an industry heavy-weight recently, on investors' mindset of a-point-in-time vs over time. His words were insightful and I try to share it here, with some of my thoughts.

People often focus on issues or problems on hand. These are matters confronting them at the current moment. These are issues at a point in time. And we usually get swamped by these issues, and out mind zoom straight into them that we lose sight of the end goal, the big picture.

This happens very often in different aspects of life. At work, we often are so busy with tasks on hand and forget about the project/assignment's objective. To achieve A, we need to do B + C + D well. But we are too engrossed at B at the moment, that we expense all our mind and effort on B that have no energy left for C & D.

Sometimes we complain about issues. This morning the MRT train had small interruption and south bound train was stopping frequently between stations. All passengers were probably pissed off judging by looks on their faces, including myself. In our minds we probably were cursing at the third world standard of our train system.

But perhaps we forget that over time, MRT services has indeed improved. While this is my personal opinion, no doubt it has been quite bad since 2011, but train rides quality has turned better with more steady travelling speed, less crowded trains and less incidents. Stretching the time frame further, MRT network has been expanding since Circle Line started (2007 or 2008?) and more places are within reach now.

Essentially, this industry heavyweight's lesson is to look less at a-point-in-time issues, but try to make continuous, sustained improvements over time.

Isn't this applicable to investing too. Its really about paying more attention to strong companies that show good track record, and has withstood test of market crash, with increasing earnings, dividends. Buy into it and allow company to continue growing and brings you profit. Reap the dividends and re-invest.

So, next time, less focus on price fluctuation today or next few days. These are transient. Focus more on business fundamentals over extended time period. These matters.


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