No quality will ever be found that is more rare or more rewarding to the investor than patience. The patient investor stays in the market longer to get a greater reward.
Why be patient? Patience will help you keep a steady hand. A steady hand for what? For getting a better price by waiting for a better time.
When you are patient, you do not get into your investments too soon. Nor do you leave too early and spoil the investment.
A patient investor is in no hurry to get married to an investment, nor is a patient investor in any hurry to get a divorce. An investor in patience is an investor in quality.
So often, a stock that is getting to be cheap will become even cheaper. Likewise, a stock that is becoming expensive will become even more expensive.
This is precisely why you want to be patient! Time is on your side. If you will be slow and deliberate in getting into a stock that is becoming less expensive by the day, you are likely to pick up that stock at an even better price than you thought you could.
The same deliberate strategy will serve you well when you go to sell. If you will be reluctant to sell-- even when your stock has become a little bit on the expensive side-- that stock will likely become even more expensive.
How does this work? The market is an exaggeration mechanism. Rather than pricing stocks fairly, it exaggerates the price of stocks at both ends of the extreme. When prices are too high, they are much too high. When prices are too low, they are much too low.
To get a better buying price for a stock, you must wait and be patient. To get a better selling price for a stock, you must--again--wait and be patient.
Cultivate patience as a habit and you will make better investments.
©Edward Abbott 2003