Paul Tarins, RICP®,WMCP®,CSRIC™
What Savvy Investors Can Learn from their Cats
While the ordinary house cat might not be your first pick when thinking of animals to model your investment style after, your favorite furry friend has several qualities that might be helpful to your investment outlook.
Conserve Your Energy
While many human beings need 6-8 hours of shuteye per night, anyone living with a cat knows that this is amateur hour. A cat will sleep as much as half the day away. Meanwhile, outdoor cats are often looking for a dry, warm place to catch a few winks.
While you probably can't get away with sleeping that much (and good for you, if you can), the more important lesson is that you don't need to spend your energy chasing every trend or hot financial tip. It can be a warm, comfortable feeling to have a financial strategy that allows you to relax and only take on the critical information.
Choose Your People Carefully
While your cat is probably a sweetheart, you've probably run into a cat or two who weren't all that friendly. Cats are selective about the humans they befriend. They want someone who feeds them regularly, gives them a warm and comfortable home and lets them have their privacy.
Your financial professional may be able to provide a similar element of comfort. For that reason, it's worth selecting them carefully and spending time thinking about how they can serve you best. The objective is to assist you in meeting your financial goals. They are also there to protect you from danger—in cat terms, that might be guiding you away from investments that might figuratively trap you behind the refrigerator.
Enjoy a Diverse Diet
Cats are natural hunters. Left on their own, they seek out birds, fish and rodents. While cats are carnivores, it's not unusual for them to prefer specific foods and cycle them through from time to time.
Eating and investing are two very different activities, but diversity can be an excellent strategy for both. Your trusted financial professional will likely want you to look at several other avenues for your investments, not placing all of your eggs in one basket.
If you play with your cat, you've likely noticed that they possess incredibly sharp focus. When the catnip mouse bounces across the carpet or the red dot from your laser pointer dances across the wall, there's nothing that will distract their attention.
It's a good idea to maintain a similar focus on your financial strategy, as developed by you and your trusted financial professional. The distractions from this strategy might be bells and whistles from the news, opportunities that aren't all they seem and your fears and anxieties about investing. Think of the objectives of your financial strategy as your red dot. Stay locked on with the same ferocity as your pet.
Look Before You Leap
From time to time, you need to make changes. When your cat needs a moment of privacy (usually for a nap), they may leap onto a high shelf or on top of a tall piece of furniture. Have you ever watched your cat think through such a leap? As amusing as it can be to witness, your cat is thinking it through carefully.
These times may arrive for your financial strategy, as well. Careful consideration before significant steps, again with your trusted financial professional involved, is always a good idea. It's not a time for a quick decision but a thoughtful examination of the situation concerning your objectives.
Keep Things Neat and Tidy!
Cats like things to be tidy; they bathe and groom themselves thoroughly. If you aren't taking care of their litter box, they get annoyed. While they don't have the civility or the thumbs to keep clean quite the way we do, it's still essential to them.
It's essential, then, to treat your financial life with similar care. Sometimes things we try don't work out, like a small business or some other enterprise. When that happens, it's time to bury them in the sand. Or, more accurately, move on from what's not working onto something new. Even if there's no significant development that's obvious, there is a value from time to time in working with your financial professional to groom out investments that might be underperforming in favor of other opportunities.
With that, it's time to thank our feline friends for lending a helping paw when considering our financial lives. They might appreciate an offering of a few kitty treats or maybe a new toy. Just be careful not to wake them from their all-important seventh nap of the afternoon.
Paul Tarins is an investment adviser representative of and offers investment and advisory services through Portfolio Medics, a registered investment adviser. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation for investment advisory services. Sovereign Retirement Solutions and Portfolio Medics are not affiliated.