No matter which country or region you belong to, if you are conscious about health and wellness practices then you must have heard of yoga. It has emerged as one of the most popular, effective, and holistic tools for all-round health and wellness. Chances are that you will usually find reference to yoga practices in the biographies of your idols from sports, business, politics or entertainment disciplines. However, what is often not realized is that this technique can bring about success in other aspects of life as well, including investments.
Indeed, yoga is an ideal form of exercise for investors or investment advisors. There are several compelling similarities between the art of mutual funds investment and yoga to begin with.
The first similarity can be found in the purpose itself.
We invest in mutual funds because we wish to enjoy long-term financial stability, growth and freedom from the constraints caused by lack or inadequate growth of money. Similarly, when we practice yoga, our aim is to enjoy long-term physical fitness, strength and freedom from various lifestyle discomforts or disabilities.
The next similarity is the risk factor. “Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.” is the standard warning that comes with every advertisement or promotional document. This is an honest warning because there are indeed some potential risks with MF investments and while financial growth may be probable, it is never guaranteed. Similarly, yoga has the potential of curing a lot of fitness problems and even some diseases as per expert practitioners. However, it is not guaranteed that a person will become 100% fit by doing yoga in any way. Moreover, one needs to take a certain degree of risk to attain the desired success. There could be pains for the first timers, stiffness and discomfort. Indulging in yoga without giving due consideration to the instructions and details of the asanas can also be damaging instead of being beneficial. Therefore, just like the MF advisory, it is essential to know your yogasanas carefully before starting to practice them.
By practicing yogasanas, one can master a fundamental quality which is not taught in business schools or through investment management trainings. This quality is ‘intuition.’ Intuition is not ‘chance’ but rather the ability to quickly assess the situation and understand whether a calculated risk is worth attempting or not. In yoga, we practice asanas and our body itself gives signals/intuitions about the extent to which stretching, twisting or moving a limb gives comfort to it. Through yoga, we learn to master our intuition and develop the ability to predict what will work and what is likely to fail. This power of ‘intuition’ is something that could separate successful investors from the average ones.
Another thing that an investor can learn from yoga is that long-term gains don’t come overnight. One has to be patient with yoga exercises as well as with mutual fund investments. If you start panicking when the first few sessions leave you with pain then you are unlikely to achieve the real benefits of both. Similarly, if you go into the ‘exit’ mode as soon as the graph shows a downward trajectory, you might not be able to leverage your investments properly. The key is to understand that one has to persist and take calculated risks consistently. Over a period of time, the body stops aching and you realize that you have mastered the ability to do things that you couldn’t have done previously. In the same way, initial ups and downs notwithstanding, long-term investments may have the potential to deliver results.
MF investment approach and methodologies have a lot in common with yoga. While you might not notice it straightaway, as noticed in the comparison above, there is a lot that an investor can learn from yoga. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that the key to investment success lies in adopting a yoga approach towards it!
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.