Lessons From the Alpine Swift for Smart Investing

AMA10-15-13What can a little black and white bird teach us tech-savvy humans about smart financial moves? Turns out, quite a lot. Swiss scientists tracking the Alpine Swift on its winter migration journey are finding that the little bird flies south for an astonishing six months – nonstop. And since we’ve been looking to the natural world for inspiration since ancient times, the Alpine Swift’s travels have a lot to say abut some key traits for successful investing and money management.

Focus on Goals
The swift knows where it wants to go. Investors need a plan, too – one that incorporates both a long range goal and short term ones on the way. Whether the goal is to create an income stream in retirement or launch a wealth building career, it’s essential to have a framework to guide an investor’s steps, from getting the necessary knowledge to making the right decisions and accepting advice from others.

Persevere
That little swift doesn’t stop. It grabs bugs from the air for food and water, rests while gliding, and just keeps on going. In the world of investing, too, it’s important to keep working toward the goal in the face of disappointments and setbacks. Successful investing relies on a strategy for the long term, a way to build income that lasts – and it takes determination and tenacity to get there.

Seize Opportunities
Markets fluctuate, economic conditions rise and fall, and new opportunities emerge. The Alpine Swift takes advantage of whatever comes its way to stay nourished and strong for its journey. Investors, too, need to be flexible and willing to adapt to changing conditions and new opportunities. Diversifying, as Jason Hartman recommends, allows investors in income property to prosper even when some markets suffer a downturn.

Be Patient
The swift won’t be taking an hour-long commuter flight to its destination. It commits to a long trip, patiently working its wings till it gets there. Get rich quick schemes come and go in the investing world, with promises of easy money from flipping properties and other schemes guaranteeing a fast return. But the key to building wealth is the building – a process that takes time and patience to work toward the desired outcome.

From Biblical proverbs and Aesop’s fables down to the discoveries of modern research, humans have looked to animals for inspiration and guidance on managing our affairs. And for investors hoping to build wealth with income property, a little bird with a big agenda may make a pretty good role model.  (Top image:Flickr/evgenydobrev)

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