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Investing and the Art of Discipline

“Half of life is luck; the other half is discipline – and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck.” – Carl Zuckmayer

Warren Buffett once said that the most important quality for an investor is temperament – how he behaves under different situations – not intellect.

In simple words, if you are an investor, your attitude will play a major role in your investing success than your aptitude.

It has been proven time and again that the worst enemy an investor can have is his emotions.

So, during bull markets, your worst enemies are greed and envy.

During bear markets, they are fear and panic.

Not the rise or fall in stock prices, what can hurt you the most is your inability to control your emotions.

It’s all about the discipline with which you conduct yourself when others around you are either going manic – during bull markets – or are hit by panic – during bear markets.

One key to being a disciplined investor is to understand that bull and bear markets are both inevitable and unpredictable as to their timing, length and depth.

Another key is to know that the world is never really as dark as it appears to be during a bear market – like it is appearing now.

I agree that the latest round of stock market correction, the worst since 2008, has certainly tested your discipline.

After all, it’s really difficult to have a clam mind when you see your stocks fall 20-30% in a span of two months.

But it is only during these troubled times that smart people get ready to make money.

Only those investors who are able control their emotions and ignore the noise of the market will be around to enjoy the rally that will follow.

Successful investors are disciplined
Discipline is the backbone of a successful investor.

Being disciplined means you are committed to your efforts so that you are always prepared.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Successful investors don’t let the hurdles such as previous investing failures get in their way, and neither should you.

If you know how to invest properly, discipline and commitment will ultimately be your gateway to success.

Ask yourself
If you are afraid of investing in the current uncertain times, ask yourself this question right now: Do I have more excuses to not invest now, or more discipline to do so?

If the answer is A, repeat the question often.

Remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so getting to the sidelines and waiting for a perfect time to start investing is not a profitable plan.

Staying in the game always has been, and always will be, the way to profit.

So, don’t be afraid to invest. Who the hell cares? Unless you’re thinking of doing a solo flight in an airplane without training, just do it.

Investing is fun. It’s interesting.

If you are disciplined and don’t fall into an emotional trap, investing in stock markets can put you on the road to prosperity for the rest of your life. Yet most people don’t begin to get the hang of investing until they reach middle age, when their eyes start to go bad and their waistlines expand.

Then they discover the advantages of owning stocks, and they wish they’d known about them earlier.

I hope you are not one of their kinds.

PS: Don’t forget – if you have a friend or colleague who you think would like to hear from me, please sign them up at They’ll get a polite invitation – which they can decline – and I never share my email lists.

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. By the way I just saw notify me on a follow up comment. So ignore my previous suggestion .

    And request you to write more about the discipline aspect.

  2. Vishal Khandelwal says:

    Hi Vikrant,

    I made the changes to the ‘Comments’ section only after your suggestion. So thanks for it!

    And thanks also for the suggestion to write on the discipline aspect, which is very close to my heart.


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