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How to neutralize the emotional toll of investing

Focusing on what you can control

July 12, 2018

Reinhold Niebuhr1 (1892-1971) was a theologian, an ethicist and a commentator on politics and public affairs. He also espoused a point of view about investing – inadvertent though it may have been – that I consider is absolutely fundamental to long-term success in this, sometimes perilous and nerve wracking, pursuit.

One of Mr. Niebuhr’s most memorable quotes was: ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t control, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’.

If your investments are down

Now let me quote from another, in some ways equally sage, source. In his recently published Investor Newsletter (The Globe and Mail, June 21, 2018) Barry Ritholtz2, a regular Bloomberg News columnist and someone I’ve quoted with some frequency in the past, commented:

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Quarterly commodity price update

Canadian Market Summary

July 10, 2018

We have updated our commodity price forecasts, along with our company estimates, valuations, and select target prices and ratings.

Oil Markets: Announced OPEC+ group supply growth targets work against demand seasonality and recent unplanned supply outages. Our global supply-demand balancing assumptions have not changed dramatically on a net basis as a result. Consequently, our crude oil price deck moves modestly higher for benchmarks WTI and Brent in 2018, but remain unchanged in later years. Importantly, our assumptions concerning Canadian light sweet and heavy differentials were significantly widened, illustrating ongoing transportation bottlenecks within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB).

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