Continuous learning and a ear for details is the key
Lord Ganesha is worshipped across India during Ganesha Chaturthi, but one of the most enduring forms of Ganesha is that of Vighnaharta or the remover of obstacles. In a way, this is what life is all about: you seek guidance from the almighty to get out of difficult times. The reason Lord Ganesha is worshipped so widely is because he is seen as a perpetual remover of obstacles from your path. However, the persona of Lord Ganesha is not just about showering his divine grace on mortals. He is also an embodiment of learning and discipline, two absolutely essential requirements for a successful investor. What is it that investors in general can learn from the persona of Lord Ganesha?
With the body of a man and the head of an elephant, Lord has an enduring charm. However, his persona goes beyond this, especially if you see through the eyes of an investor. For example, Lord Ganesha’s large head embodies infinite wisdom, while his large ears embody a hunger to learn and grasp everything around him. Contrast this with his small mouth, which shows the importance of listening a lot more than speaking.
Even acclaimed global investor Peter Lynch used to say that he learnt the best investment ideas by keeping his ears open when he visited places or met people. Further, Warren Buffett emphasizes the need to continuously upgrade your knowledge and seek new ideas. Both the curiosity of Lynch and the insatiable learning appetite of Buffett are best portrayed by Lord Ganesha. The message from Lord Ganesha is that you must listen to others, keep your ears open for new ideas, and embark upon continuous learning; if you can do that, there is no way you won’t be a successful investor.
Be adaptable and flexible says the Trunk of Lord Ganesha
Back in the mid-2000s, Warren Buffett religiously stayed off technology stocks saying that he did not understand them. In the last few years, Buffett has not only held IBM but also Apple, which happens to be his largest shareholding today.
If Warren Buffett can be adaptable and willing to change when he is on the far end of the eighties, there is no reason you cannot adapt as an investor. This is exactly what the persona of Lord Ganesha teaches us. The trunk is the perfect example of adaptability. It not only embodies power and strength but also indicates the ability to do perform a variety of delicate and complex tasks. As an investor, you should be flexible with strategies for all kinds of markets, bear or bull, and also be willing to change your thinking.
Risk is essential but you must know your limits
Have you ever wondered what the sumptuous belly of Lord Ganesha portrays? It actually personifies appetite. Good and healthy food is essential for your body and your mind but excess of eating is gluttony and that can harm your body. Lord Ganesha embodies the quality of being able to measure his appetite and consume accordingly.
Let us transpose this idea into your risk appetite and your risk capacity. Most investors tend to confuse between risk appetite and risk capacity. Your thinking can be driven by your risk appetite, but your actions should be driven by your risk capacity. This is one of the fundamental laws of investment. It is only when you miss out on these finer details of risk that you run into problems. Like Lord Ganesha, if you can control your risk appetite, you are on track to be a successful investor.
Select the best investment from the available choices
It does sound paradoxical at times that Lord Ganesha, with all his supreme qualities, relies on the humble mouse as his vehicle. However, there is again a certain significance to this. Apart from showing humility, it shows the ability to manage with the choices available to you. As investors, it is quite normal for us to get obsessed with small problems; however, it is important not to fret over small problems, but look beyond them and choose to act on what is available to us. Lord Ganesha teaches us to make the best of what we have.
How to stop playing God in the markets – Learn from the Lord
When we get a few of our trades or investment right, there is the tendency to get carried away. We almost start to believe that we cannot go wrong in the world of investing. That is exactly when we get mugged by reality. In the midst of the 10-day celebrations, we tend to believe that the good times will last forever. The Visarjan teaches us the harsh fact that good times will pass. However, just like Lord Ganesha returns every year, we must remember that tough times will also pass and good times will return, whether it is in life or in the markets.