Investing and Game of Thrones
On the surface there is no connection between investment and TV series about dragons, zombies and medieval style politics.
As I write this, we have no idea who will finish on the Iron Throne (my hopes are Tyrion) however I was having a discussion with a client about this show and it really got me thinking about the obscure parallels between investing and Game of Thrones.
When I first started watching Game of Thrones the first few episodes were entirely spent trying to work out what was going on and remembering any of the characters names. With names like Varys, Daenerys, Cersei it was a minefield just to remember who every one was and what role they played in the show.
At the end of the first episode, following that scene between a certain blonde haired knight, a blonde queen and a young boy (if you have seen the show you know exactly what scene I am referring to) I remember thinking this show is the weirdest show on TV.
However, following the insistence of friends that were 2 seasons ahead of me I persevered with watching it. Over the next 6 seasons I become enthralled by the calibre of writing and how the plot manages to surprise you at every turn. Red wedding anyone??
I went from having no idea as to what was going, the relations between characters being a total mystery and being perplexed the entire time to loving ever minute on the show with an emotional journey that ranged from wiping tears from my eyes from laughter to wiping tears of sadness away and genuinely feeling concern for the characters.
This season has been different. Following a 2 year wait that has felt more like 2 decades I have to admit that I have been incredibly disappointed by this season (a few incredible scenes and events I have been eagerly waiting for years aside).
The investment journey can at times follow this pattern. When we first start investing often we have no idea what we are doing, the fluctuations (plot twists) make markets seem incredibly scary and complex places. However, as we learn, study and begin to understand markets and investment better we learn become attached to certain markets (or even stocks, I’m yet to meet an investor that doesn’t have a favourite) market fluctuations that previously made no sense at all now become clear to us.
That being said investments will always have a plot twist or two for the astute investor to consider. Whether it is an earnings upgrade/downgrade, a surprise movement by a central bank or even economic data surprising the market there is never a dull moment when investing. You will experience the giddy joy of seeing your investments grow, the fear and uncertainty of seeing an investment lose value through to the almost boredom of seeing a high-quality investment trade flat for extended periods.
Much like the current season of Game of Thrones markets will have their moments of disappointment, however a long-term serious investor will continue to invest knowing that often these are just arbitrary blips.