Investment and seasons
An investor is very familiar with changes -some are anticipated whilst some are not.
A popular saying ‘Make hay whilst the sun shines’. This implies the sun will not shine someday. Scary but it also means if you’ve truly made hay, you will be fine.
Life is in seasons. By the very nature of the world, seasons are here to stay. Have you wondered the reasons we have days and nights? ‘9 months of pregnancy ‘, life stages- everyone is born a baby, then infancy, teenage years, young adulthood, old age, then exit?
I’ll focus on the 4 seasons and how it affects investments.
As per science, seasons happen because the earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of about 23.4 degrees and different parts of Earth receive more solar energy than others.
From a spiritual perspective, God’s word says there is time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1
In investment, this means you will not always receive the same level of income or money all through life. For those of us with active careers, it is defined. You will retire whether you like it or not when the company wants you to. The bright side is that you’ve had the benefit of alarm clock salaries for decades
An investor also knows the value of time. Time is the only universal currency we all share equally. Whether rich, not so rich, black, white, young, old, we all have 24 hours a day and equal seasons. As we get older, we get busier and time becomes scarce. In many cases the less time we have, the more money have. Assuming, the user knows how to convert time to money.
Autumn: This is a period before winter. It is also called fall because many trees shed their leaves. Many animals migrate ahead of the upcoming freezing winter. In investment, this is the period before the recession. A classic example is the fall of crude oil price. Some countries like dubai saw the crude oil price winter ahead and diversified their economy during Autumn.
As an investor, the first step is to be aware that your business will only survive the seasons by being proactive. Your market is programmed to get into winter sometimes so use your Autumn to diversify, to adapt your business to global trends , understand economic changes and more. Use this slow time to research about more business opportunities.
As an investor, Autumn is when you assess your risk profile and minimize it. Example, if you have heavy loans, look at paying off in anticipation of slower cash flow in winter. Many businesses collapse within the Autumn and winter seasons.
Autumn for an investor is the best period to balance between high risk and low risk investment so that you don’t lose your capital base in winter. Autumn is heavy on preparation and strategizing.
Even if we don’t have snowy winter in Nigeria, we are all familiar with the financial summer- recession!
As an investor in winter, your earning power is frozen. Infant, in some cases, completely dead. If you’ve done a good job in spring and summer, this is the time to seat under the mango tree and tell your grandkids some fables because your bank account has a heartbeat. If you’ve not, I’ll leave you to imagine the consequences.
In winter, do not try financial stunts. I recall many of my father’s friends that decided to start massive companies they knew nothing about with their retirement package. Wrong move! They lost all their money for obvious reasons- lack of business understanding and wrong risk assessments.
In winter, this is the time for more steady investments to give sure returns. E.g. treasury bills, fixed deposits interests, rental income from real estate, royalties from books, songs, creative intellectual properties, dividends from stock, profit sharing from your companies.
Most especially, your financial goal in winter should be centered around protecting your asset base. Winter can also be a good period to acquire assets from distressed businesses.
An investor in winter can be an employee retiree, a period of economic recession, a waiting period during a job loss or a recovering entrepreneur.
Spring means a period of rebirth. For farmers , this is the best time to plant seeds because of the frequent rains.
For investors, this is the period to maximize. Don’t eat your seed. If you earn your first million, invest it in more assets to create more income. Then invest that return too.
Spring is the time to try out new business ventures until you align your on going businesses. It is ok at this period because your liquidity is highest at this period. Even if you lose, you still have high earning power. It is the time to be bullish- try investment in product design, business acquisition, agriculture, innovation, research, active business operations and more. On top of more steady income generators.
Springs is the time to build solid business relationships, network and deliver excellent customer service to retain your clients.
Spring is a time when flowers bloom and trees begin to grow and reproduce.
An investor in spring must be willing to take a lot of calculated risks because this is when you can. If you can’t take risks now, you’ve missed the season. Recently, Facebook reminded me of a post I made in 2009. It was the launch of my first commercial product which failed for many reasons. I share this to reassure you that it is ok to fail. But fail forward- fail on a small scale learn.
It is hot but nice! This is time to reap returns on your investment. But do not be complacent. This is the time to leapfrog on innovation. How can you serve customers better?
In summer, remember never to dehydrate. Don’t get too excited to over leverage your assets on loans. Be careful on the contracts and business deals you sign. At this phase, you are probably getting lots of partnership offers- jump on win-win offers with partners with similar values.
Middletown bible church -table, Bible, Getty images