If there’s one person who has seen the greatest amount of dishonesty and corruption right under his nose, he’s none other than Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi is mentioned countless times in speeches by Indian politicians, whether the speech is related to economic growth or corporate governance.
This man’s biggest message to the world was that of morality as an important part of life, business, and of course politics. But he is the only one standing testimony to all immoral activities that happen in the highest corridors of power in the country.
Anyways, leaving that aside, I thought it would be a nice thing on Gandhi’s birthday to remind myself (and you) of the inspiration that he served through his teachings.
Here’s a collection of quotes – some of which show up in front of me daily on self-created bookmarks – that serve a great inspiration to me as an investor. I hope these might have some lessons for you as well.
1. “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
There’s no point running the rat race, for even if you win it you will still be a rat. As I’ve realized over the years, there’s much more to life than money, investing, greed, and fear.
2. “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
All books, talks and discussions on how to become a sensible investor are worth nothing unless you put your learning into practice. You will still fail at times, but as someone said, “There are no failures, only lessons.”
3. “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
Learn to forgive yourself for your investing mistakes. Get over, and get going.
4. “If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.”
Have patience, stay invested for the long term, think intrinsic value, have margin of safety, and let the power of compounding work for you.
5. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
The real romance of life is not in the knowledge, but in knowing. So keep learning each day. If you are to become a successful investor, there’s no other way but to keep learning the art of investing. And keep living each moment.
6. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
Value investors, take note! People may think it is nonsense to research hard, apply margin of safety, and buy and hold stocks for years and decades. But you know what you are doing, right? So shut off the noise, and just do it!
7. “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
Growth as an investor is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. So accept that you will make mistakes. Don’t get chained by the fear of making mistakes. But then, as Prof. Sanjay Bakshi told me, “Making mistakes is ok, perpetuating them is not.”
8. “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
If you think you are not built for patience and hard work, value investing is not for you. Maybe you can try your luck at a casino!
9. “The future depends on what you do today.”
Investing is a lifelong process. You can become an “overnight” success only after years of hard word. So work in the now, and forget about the future.
10. “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
Little drops make an ocean. This is true of investing as well. A few sensibly made small investments can earn you a lot of wealth in the long run (thanks to the power of compounding).
11. “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
“I am otherwise a long term investor. But I’ll speculate just this one time.” Well this doesn’t work, in life or in investing. There cannot be a deep disconnect between how you believe sensible investing works and how you actually invest your money. That’s like being dishonest with yourself. And you hate dishonest people, right?
12. “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
This is so much relevant in your hour of pride or while you go through extreme hardships. Always remember the quote from Horace that Benjamin Graham used for the frontispiece of the first edition of Security Analysis – “Many shall be restored that now are fallen and many shall fall that now are in honor.”
Are there any other specific quotes from Gandhi that inspire you in life and investing? If yes, please share it in the Comments below.
(This post was originally published on 2nd October 2012)