Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Fine Art of the Slow Game

Just a few years back, the multi-billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, now 96, once explained that he looked at investments with a 10 year time horizon.

In the clip below, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky shares the time he asked Jeff Bezos what's the best advice Warren Buffett ever gave him. It was the same advice, take a long-term perspective.

This week on The Robert Wenzel Show, Rick Rule discusses the major advantage he believes he has because he looks at investments that have a payoff over a 3 to 5 year time horizon, while most other investors look for investments with a much shorter time horizon. The Rule interview is fascinating for that part of the discussion, but much more. It is here.

I believe the perspective of Kerkorian, Buffett and Rule goes far beyond investments and offers guidance for all of life. In the modern world, too many have a very short-term time horizon, Austrian economists call it high time preference.

I have seen many who refuse to take a step that will take a year or two to develop but that would improve their lives greatly. It's too far off they think. It's too long of a time commitment. The very successful ones, like Kerkorian, Buffett and Rule, have a much longer time horizon,which I believe is an important element in their success as investors but, also, well beyond investing.

The slow game, with a 3 to 10 year time perspective, is where few dare to tread, but it can provide a long-term major advantage because the competition in that time frame is limited. Take advantage, think long-term. Think the slow game.

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