It’s the whole journey that counts

Last week, my wife and I started our third year of walking The Camino Way. We walked from Burgos to León, a distance of 180 km walked over 6 days. To walk the whole route takes 5-6 weeks (depending on rest days, injuries etc), so we have another 2 years to go before we reach Santiago de Compostela.

This year’s walk was full of sunshine, with temperatures getting into the high 20’s (as we were always walking from east to west, the sun was always over my left shoulder, so I’ve a real redneck, at least on the left side!). As always, we met loads of walkers who had set off from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France two weeks previously. They told us stories about missing out on the beautiful walk over the Pyrenees because the path was closed because of snow and of constant rain for 5 days. They were miserable and cold all the time, changing into damp clothes because they couldn’t dry their gear quick enough. It sounds awful, doesn’t it? But these people were having a great time. That is because they are not just looking at the short period of 5 awful days. Their journey is 35 days long and they are looking at their total journey and what they are achieving over that.

You should look at your investments in the same way. Don’t worry about the short term volatility of the markets, you need to look at returns over the entire journey, which for most of us amounts to decades. What is your long term goal and will your investment strategy get you there in the end? No need to worry about the bad bits or get carried away with the good bits. Look at the journey as a whole.

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