5 Investment lessons from Mahatma Gandhi

Celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the great soul by drawing lessons from his life into the world of investing.

October 01, 2019 7:57 IST | India Infoline News Service
Mahatma Gandhi
It has been 150 years since “the Mahatma” or “the great-souled” was born. However, his philosophy and ideas are still relevant and will be so even after centuries.

Perhaps, the most striking qualities of the Father of the Nation or lovingly called as Bapu, are that he took the non-violent approach against the most oppressive regime and promoted progressive socio-economic issues. His emphasis on Swadeshi and non-cooperation were based on the principle of economic self-sufficiency.

Here are some valuable investing lessons to learn from Gandhiji’s life and ideas:

Take the first step forward, even if it is small: This refers to the those who are too cautious to invest. There is a feeling of fear and also lethargy that makes us put off investment decisions for a future date. However, just like the independence struggle where Gandhiji began all freedom movements on a small scale at first, it is more important that we start.

Practice more; preach less: Gandhiji spent most of his time on actions rather than words. He was a great pragmatist. In the same way, we need to become people of action and stop planning all the time. Start today because what you do today (or how much you invest today) is a lot more important that what you can do tomorrow.

At times, resilience is more useful than skills: Bapu was a force to reckon with and baffled the British about how they could stop him. How he single-handedly and non-violently spearheaded revolutions despite the brutal conditions shows his exemplary mental strength. We have seen the best of investors get overwhelmed by market events. This is where a calm and composed mind is a lot more useful than skill and talent.

Be as determined as iron: Working towards an investment goal is not easy. There will always be a lot of noise along the way. Hence, one needs focus and determination. As Mahatma Gandhi said “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

Self-reliance will take you to the top: One of Gandhiji’s most significant lessons was that of being self-dependent. With the humble charkha, Bapu always advocated self-reliance in speech and practice. It happens so often that the best of strategies go kaput, and one ends up in losses. However, if we can be humble enough to accept that we are fallible, rely on our own research and not “tips” that we receive from random sources, the battle is half won.

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