In love – as in personal finances, it seems – mankind has much to learn from animals in the wild. Here are a few Valentine’s lessons from nature’s biggest charmer, the peacock.
Determination is more important than good fortune: When it comes to catching the eye of the desired long-term partner (or bagging consistently excellent long-term investment returns), discipline and tenacity outperform good fortune (such as fabulously good looks or a lucky bet on a certain stock).
Good luck, like good looks, is not a reliable basis for a long-term plan. In fact, do a little digging and you will realise that nature leaves little to luck.
The tail of the male peacock is a wonder of nature that is eye-catching (and indicative of good genes). Female peafowl are attracted to male peacocks with the largest and most ornate train, which is related to their overall fitness. Therefore, females are more likely to have healthy chicks if they mate with a male with the largest train.
Don’t rely on just one tactic: A casual observer might think shiny feathers is all there is to the peacock’s courting ritual, but this is a multi-sensory attack. Researchers have found that peacocks can vibrate their feathers on average 25 times per second, creating a low-frequency sound that is the perfect signal for peahens. Investors would be wise to apply this lesson too: don’t rely on just one investment or asset class. Instead, select the most appropriate investment product and fund mix for each goal.
Don’t be too cautious: Finding a life partner, like securing a decent income for life, sometimes requires bold action. Whether that be fanning out your tail feathers in the face of near-certain rejection, or submitting your life savings to the occasional roller-coaster ride, risk is sometimes necessary to secure the desired return.
If you have suffered a major personal rejection or financial setback, you may be tempted to minimise your risk. But, remember, fortune favours the bold or, financially speaking, investments that are deemed riskiest (because they present more volatile returns in the short-term) tend to perform better over the longer term.
Keeping your money in the perceived safety of the bank, like keeping your glorious tail feathers hidden, may give you the comfort of preserving your nominal capital (or dignity), but it also keeps you out of the game and damages your chances of winning the prize of long-term success.
Know that things will not always go smoothly: In times of emotional turmoil, much like market upheaval, those with a well-considered plan can take comfort knowing their plan makes allowance for the occasional rejection or any other kind of underperformance.
In times like this it is imperative that you keep your eyes on the prize and try not to get overwhelmed by your emotions. Stay focused on the end goal and detach from what is happening right now. If you are following an appropriate plan, short-term developments should have no bearing on your overall outcome.
The peacock video is one of the series Resilience is in our nature released by 10X Investments.
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The content herein is provided as general information. It is not intended as nor does it constitute financial, tax, legal, investment, or other advice. 10X Investments is an authorised FSP (number 28250). 10X Index Fund Managers (RF) (Pty) Ltd is a Manager registered under the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act, 2002.