By Miles Clyne
He (I’m using he, but this story does not need to be gender-specific) was an average guy. He thought he knew what he wanted in his life. His girl was his anchor, his rock. She was someone he could depend upon to be there when he needed her. She was stable, predictable and seemed to be exactly what satisfied his every need and want. They were a perfect match.
Then he met her; a friend introduced them. She was a bit on the wild side, but more interestingly, she looked at life differently. As they talked and got to know one another his world seemed to broaden and he started to see things a bit differently. This made him wonder that maybe what he thought made him feel satisfied wasn’t what he really wanted and needed after all.
The young man looked at his life and tried to picture it 20+ years down the road. Could the safe, simple life that he had been working toward become something he would become disillusioned with? Maybe he’d become resentful of this past love and end up bitter and angry that he had not looked deeper?
Confusion began to set in. He started looking more closely at the relationships of his friends and co-workers and briefly thought about reading Harlequin romance novels. The search for this young man became his quest; he knew he dared not give his heart and soul to his first love until he could be confident of what would truly make him happy. He wasn’t the kind of man that could mislead someone. There were two lives at stake.
You can finish this story any way you like, because the end that comes to my mind is exactly the end that we have chosen for ourselves. Personally and financially we are faced with similar paradoxes. Is how we are living our lives true to what we want and need? How we invest – is it in alignment with what we want and need? I really would prefer to stay out of others’ love life, but I enjoy spending time in people’s financial affairs.
I can confidently tell you the paradox we have with investing is alive and well. Most investors want security along with exceptional growth (I know that’s what I want). Historically the two are like the two different loves, and most societies would not condone multiple partners. The investing world is similar. Most will rightfully tell you that low risk (security) and high risk (exceptional growth) are at opposite ends of the spectrum and mix the two at your own risk. What I’m here to suggest is that you may be able to have a very happy long term relationship by mixing the two. Contrary to what you may believe or have been told.
Like the young man who figured out he needed to do some soul searching to ensure he was comfortable with his direction in life, now as well as years down the road, you too may need to do some exploration. What you find may be pleasantly surprising and satisfying.
Here is to a life well lived and fulfilled in as many ways as we can each reach for.
Miles Clyne, Portfolio Manager,
MacDougall Investment Counsel Inc.