There are investing lessons from the unlikeliest of places.
Even from a landmark US space programme.
In 1963, the US was locked in a race with the Soviet Union to put a man on the moon, something that had never been done before.
Naturally, many in the public were skeptical.
It was hard. There were no guarantees.
And the attempt was certainly far from a sure thing.
Even NASA had its doubts on whether it was possible.
As hesitation on the US space programme grew, the nation’s commitment to sending a man to the moon was called into question.
The US was facing a wall of worry, uncertain how to cross over.
At this moment of doubt, the late US President John F. Kennedy stood up and offered these words to his nation that was fought in uncertainty:
“This Nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space, and we have no choice but to follow it.
Whatever the difficulties, they will be overcome.
… we will climb this wall with safety and with speed — and we shall then explore the wonders on the other side.”
No one was sure a moon landing would work, not even President Kennedy.
But the best way to know for sure was to throw your cap over the wall.
That way, you will have to figure out how to cross over to the other side.
Sure enough, the late Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969, six years after the late President Kennedy’s speech.
There is something for us to learn from this episode.
As investors, we are often faced with key moments of self-doubt when we attempt something new.
The good news is it is not as hard as trying to land someone on the moon.
But we must find the courage to step forward, despite the odds.
Go on, throw your cap over the wall
Starting something new is not easy.
Naturally, you will face uncertainty.
You could be facing a torrent of information as you buy your first stock.
Or the stocks you own may be experiencing a new threat that you have not seen before.
And I don’t have to tell you how last year’s pandemic had put businesses to the test.
At the same time, there could be promising growth trends developing, yet filled with twists and turns.
All new situations, filled with uncertainty.
As they are new, there are no ready solutions for you.
Either way, the only way forward is to take the first step.
Learn to earn
If you are just getting started in investing, consider buying a stock.
You don’t have to jump in with both feet.
But you can choose to dip your toe in the water.
There is no better way to learn investing than to get your feet wet.
Yes, it is possible that you will lose money when you buy a stock.
But if you don’t buy, you will never properly understand the joy of stock compounding or the pain of a stock loss.
Gain or loss, I would argue that you will learn something valuable.
And if your mindset is oriented towards LEARNING as much as you can in order to EARN more, then all you need is to take the first step.
Don’t be too worried about whether you get it exactly right.
No one does.
But if you keep holding your stock AND continue learning, I submit that you will come out on top either way.
If the outcome is good, all is well.
And if the result goes against you, there is a valuable lesson to learn that you can apply moving forward.
That is, if you keep on learning.
Be a lifelong learner
I have had the privilege to meet many fellow investors who are well into their 60s and 70s.
They may be at an advanced stage of life but they invest like they are in their 20s, always with a long term view, always looking to learn new things.
It’s this spirit that inspires me and my team to keep learning ….
… to continue sharing our investing knowledge that we pick up along the way.
We are all privileged today, that even in the age of pandemic, we can stay connected and travel together as we navigate the jungles in the world of investing.
Practical learning is important to us.
That’s why we buy every stock that we show within The Smart Dividend Portfolio.
All in an effort to demonstrate that we will walk the talk.
We may not be landing someone on the moon, but we can certainly invest our way to a better life, together.
So, let’s step forward.
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Disclaimer: Chin Hui Leong does not own any of the companies mentioned.