The Race, a broad vs narrow view

James Pope |

DIS and DAT 

Our periodic communication that reminds you to ask, “Should I react to those headlines?” 

November 2021 

The Race, a broad vs narrow view 

“A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow. ‘Do you ever get anywhere?’ he asked with a mocking laugh.”    

The Hare and the Tortoise 

Recently I have noticed a subtle difference in clients who survey only their custodian provided monthly statements and do not review their quarterly investment reports we provide.  The reaction to the narrower “view” of the custodian provided statements appear to be stronger.  The down months depressed and scared the readers of the more frequent and less broad custodial statements.  It is a natural re action of our mind and body to react this way. When a threat arises, the body should respond with fear of destruction, death, and danger.  In the investing race it can be a signal though of something not working.  Maybe it’s a fear of being mocked by faster hares as the tortoise was, to begin that famous fable.  To give some explanation of the investment implications, I share with you a vision of a hypothetical race among hypothetical creatures, the gambler, the speculator, and the investor. 


The gambler is exciting and braggadocios.  Has great early gains (according to him).  Flashes the wealth and material gains to prove it.  The gambler’s behavior is like that of the hare in the fable.  They set high expectations and withdraw heavily from their wealth.  A familiar end unfortunately awaits, as the gambler dies broke and lonely. 


The speculator is smart.  They can quote all the latest news, forecasting some big predictions.  Getting some predictions right and having some periods of nice gains.  Yet due to gains missed never quite sees the compounding and ends with gains roughly around inflation on average over longer periods.  Their friends are many and in high places. 


The investor is a bit odd. Not flashy, and a bit slow looking.  In fact, they appear slow and scared.  Conservative as they appear, non-conformative, they surprisingly tend to see compounding of their wealth of longer periods due to the efforts of employees and managements of the companies in which they invest.  Their modest lifestyle in relationship to their wealth allows them to re-invest, despite a slow and likely negative start.  They suffer through bouts of 50% drops in their wealth.  Nothing glamourous or enviable at all.  Their friends are close, and their relationships are healthy.  

So, what are some of the characteristics of an Investor? 

  1. They have a broad view in addition to the narrow view 

  1. They have a low withdrawal rate and a modest lifestyle relative to their net worth. 

  1. They possess a “get wealthy slowly” mindset. 

  2. They develop an investors mindset. (Here are our reminders of how to embrace the investors mindset) 

  • There is no guarantee on account performance. 

  • Investment managers have discretion on investment decisions. (Unless *restricted).  

  • We will not invest based on popularity but rather based on an analysis of the business and investment opportunity. 

  • We have no skill in predicting market moves, economic cycles, nor political events, etc. Thankfully, we do not find that necessary to achieve decent investment returns. 

  • We expect some investments will fail to achieve the desired result, thus the need for diversification and a broader view over multiple positions and time frames. 

  • Investment’s performance should be judged on a time frame equivalent to a full market cycle.  That cycle is typically measured in years; five-year cycles are a general thought. 

  • We are not seeking outperformance of all investments, at all times.  If a popular momentum-driven pricing environment in any area of investments occurs, underperformance of that area is expected. 

  1. They operate in a low stimulus environment.  They avoid casinos.  They avoid making braggadocios predictions, they temper or are skeptical of the news they receive.  They never get to say I told you so. 

  2. They usually know some boring things about 

  • A company’s financial statements 
  • A company’s management philosophy 

  • A company’s competitors 

  • A company’s rough valuation (not stock price) 

  1. If they are old enough, they have usually found that material items aren’t necessary for “the good life.” The good life comes from enjoyment of work (effort toward a worthy vision), a good book, and healthy loving relationships with family and close friends. 

I hope the upcoming Holidays allows you to share some valuable and irreplaceable moments with family and/ or friends.  And that you are as successful as the tortoise was in that race. 

Thanks for your attention, I hope this helps, Happy Holidays and please be safe, 



Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Advisor.Investments [“AI”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from AI.  Please remember that if you are a AI client, it remains your responsibility to advise AI, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. AI is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the AI’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: AI does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to AI’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.