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A trekker’s guide to fruitful investing

July 29, 2017 . Srilekha Veena Sankaran
A trekker's guide to fruitful investing

If there’s one thing all trekkers have in common, it’s their love for adventure, the adrenaline rush, and sense of fulfillment that every trek offers.  Recently, I’d embarked on a trek near the western ghats. While I was hiking through the highs and lows of the mountain, I realised  how similar  trekking is to investing. Both require  diligent preparation, perseverance and high endurance levels! The path to prosperity is uneven, rugged, taxing and sometimes long, as is a trek. But, admit it! The best views are achieved after the hardest climb.

That said, here are a few things to keep in mind for becoming a successful trekker-investor.

Preparation 
Trekking requires meticulous preparation and planning. You have to evaluate your fitness levels and start preparing yourself physically and mentally to reach the summit. You might also want to consult a fitness trainer to help prepare for all kinds of challenges diligently. In addition, you’ll also have to choose a trail that is optimal – both terrain and weather-wise.

Similarly, before you start investing, you need to plan your goals, gauge your risk appetite, and then pick the right funds that will help you achieve those goals within the stipulated time-frame. No two investment portfolios are the same. People who give you their two cents to make your portfolio better, might not actually know your risk appetite and goals. Hence, it is better to do some research on your own, listen to your trusted financial advisor, and then decide. Your final decision should be based on your needs and an expert’s recommendation.

Best practices
There are 3 golden rules to keep in mind when you go on trek:
1. Take baby steps to keep from skidding
2. Keep your body hydrated to avoid experiencing fatigue
3. Stick to your trail and stay focussed

These golden rules apply to investing as well. Smart investors take baby steps towards their goal(s) by consistently investing in a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP), they keep their portfolio ‘hydrated’ by investing extra (idle) money they have in their savings from time-to-time, and they stick to their trail by staying invested for the long term, regardless of market performance.

Endurance
Trekking uphill is daunting for any trekker, the experienced or a rookie. As you climb, tricky and steep portions might make you stumble or fall, but you’d get up and continue walking. There are times when you’d feel like it’s never going to end, but you wouldn’t give up, because you know once you reach the summit, that breathtaking view will totally be worth it. You’ll be several hundred feet above the world, screaming with joy. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment, which is almost inexplicable.

The journey to prosperity is no different. It is a long, tedious path. You have to walk on your charted trail at your own pace without making comparisons with your peers. Endure the highs and lows of the market, and stay invested for the long-term. In the end, you’ll realize it’s totally worth it. You’ll finally reach the summit, compounding your savings and  accomplishing all your financial goals – truly an exhilarating experience.

So, savor every bit of this journey without worrying about the occasional market downturns, for compounding wealth is equal to compounding your happiness.

 

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