In celebration of Heritage Day we flip our consideration to Africa’s wealthy historical past of fables. The tales many people grew up with might not be as broadly often called they as soon as had been, however they nonetheless carry many classes that apply right now. Some are even related to investing.
The first story, “Cook, Eat and Carry Me’’, is a Kikuyu tale that proves modesty and respect make for the best outcome. But being too proud or disrespecting the rules won’t get you ahead. This is certainly true in the process of investing. Being arrogant or overly confident aren’t the same as being brave or successful.
The story follows a family where sibling rivalry gets the better of one of two sisters. Gethui, the family favourite, was good, kind and well behaved. Her sister, who was jealous of Gethui, was the opposite and her behaviour sadly led to her own downfall.
“Cook, Eat and Carry Me’’
One afternoon Gethui was sent to the river to collect water. As she filled her water gourd, a strong force began to pull her down. Fearing her father’s reaction if she lost the gourd, Gethui held on tight and was dragged into the river, to a cave in the underwater world. A pot of hot food beckoned. ‘’Cook, Eat and Carry Me,’’ it said. She enjoyed the delicious meal and looked around to thank the cook, but no one was to be found. On her way out of the cave, another pot nearby did the same thing. ‘’Cook, Eat and Carry Me’’ it called out. She listened and enjoyed a second delicious meal. When she was finished, she expressed her gratitude by saying, “a thousand blessings on the giver”. Just then, an outdated man appeared and beckoned her to return nearer.
The man praised Gethui for being so nicely behaved and rewarded her respect and modesty with the selection of two pots to take dwelling, including that he would bless whichever pot she selected. In her humble, well mannered manner, she chosen the smaller pot over the larger one and returned to land. When she seemed inside, she was overcome with pleasure. The small pot provided limitless items, together with strings of beaded ornaments, new garments and nearly each beautiful merchandise she had ever wished for. Then she shared the information of her success together with her household.
Gethui’s sister, resentful, determined to get a pot of treasure for herself. On reaching the underwater world, she too noticed the new pot of meals, however didn’t hear the phrases, “Cook, Eat and Carry Me’’. Nevertheless, she gulped down the food and did the same with the second pot. She then spotted the old man and ran over to him to ask what he was going to give her. He explained that she lacked modesty and manners, but he would still offer her one of two pots, mentioning that if she chose the smaller pot, he would bless it. But ignoring this, she chose the larger, more lavish-looking pot, thinking her treasures would be double what her sister received.
When she reached inside, the pot was full of disease and germs, and because she wanted bigger gifts, the disease attacked her and turned her into an enormous monster, which scared away everyone nearby, including her family. They did not recognise her, and she was left completely alone, destitute in her greed.
How does this relate to investing?
Often when we disrespect the rules we need to follow, we pay the price. Investing is a process: there are a few tried and tested principles for achieving success. For example, you can’t beat the clock. Time and patience are needed to grow your investments, particularly when you need to save for something long-term like retirement. Greed and short-termism, and following the most recent “hot” funding, will be your downfall. Look out for FOMO (worry of lacking out), too. It is slightly a constant and longer-term strategy that will assist guarantee your “pot” of financial savings provides as much as a significant quantity that will reward you many times all through your retirement, or assist realise your personal “treasured” objectives.
You can test how a lot you will want to retire by utilizing Prudential’s Retirement Calculator.
This is the primary of three Heritage Day fables that seem on the web site of Prudential Investment Managers and are republished with type permission.