There are times when you need to do something quickly. If your car is on the last drop of gas, you can’t mess around finding a deal to save 3 cents. If a pipe burst in your house and you can’t get it to stop, spending the next two hours getting the best rate from a plumber seems like a bad idea.
There are other times when it feels like you need to “do something”, but leaving well enough alone is likely a better move. We see a lot of bad legislation passed in the US because of this idea, and I talked about that here.
Lastly, there are times when you need to do something, but there is no rush. An example might be some of our clients that need a new website, but they are able to take the time to shop around and find the team with the best fit for them. Those kinds of deals tend to work out well for us, but really it’s the client in control because they don’t have to rush to make a decision.
A huge place where the “no rush” comes into play is with investing. Warren Buffett has said many times that he’s not really a brilliant investor, just a cautious one. His top goal is to avoid making big mistakes, and waiting patiently is a great way to do that. In his words:
“If you feel like you have to invest every day, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. It isn’t that kind of a business. You have to wait for the fat pitch.”
A similar example is from years ago when we were ready to buy our first house and we negotiated with our landlord to move us to month-to-month with him. As a result, we were able to take our time and wait for the perfect house. No deadline, no pressure, just waiting for the right house to come along.
It’s not always possible to put yourself in a situation that allows patience, but it’s a good thing to strive toward if you can.
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