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What Can Investors Learn from Wilderness Adventuring?

HI1-24-14Inspiration for successful investing is all around us, with lessons from nature about perseverance, dedication and patience offered by migrating birds, meandering streams and just about anything else that’s a part of the natural world. A recent piece on adventurer Alison Levine posted to CNN Money reveals how this world traveler applies lessons learned from taking on the challenges of the natural world to make some points about investing success over the long term.

Levine, who’s skied the North and South Poles and climbed the highest peaks on seven continents as part of the Adventure Grand Slam, shares lessons learned from those experiences in a new book called On the Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadership. As it turns out, investing may have more in common with those pulse pounding endeavors than you might have thought.

Mountain climbers and other adventurers have to face fear—and so do investors taking risks in uncertain markets. But according to Levine, fear isn’t always a bad thing. It keeps you alert, on the watch for pitfalls that can be avoided – and it helps you avoid getting complacent and assuming all’s well. The key, for both wilderness trekkers and the investor who manages income properties forma home office is to understand what fear is for, and to use it to push forward, rather than getting paralyzed.

How much pain can you stand? Under – or over – estimating your tolerance for discomfort and the online casino amount of pain, physical or financial, you can accept in order to keep going is essential in any risk-taking endeavor, whether it’s buying properties or scaling a snow covered peak. Understanding how much discomfort and uncertainty you can tolerate can help you avoid iffy deals and manage money wisely.

It’s also important, according to Levine, to redefine your notion of progress. In real-world adventuring, progress toward the goal may come in tiny steps, or a few steps in an entirely different direction. Or, “progress” may be made by simply stopping and getting enough rest to go on to the next stage of the journey. Thinking of progress as any actions that advance you toward the goal can help an investor, too, to set priorities and accept the setbacks that can stall any investing plan.

Climbing Mt. Everest or trekking across the South Pole may be a more rugged outing than most investors would want to try. But those lessons from a life of high adventure in the world’s harshest places echo recommendations Jason Hartman makes in his 10 Commandments for Real Estate Investing, which is a wealth builidng adventure of its own.  (Top image:Flickr/PaperCat)


Chatzky, Jean. “5 Invcsting Lessons From Climbing Mt. Everest.” Money Sense from Jean Chatzky. CNN Money. 21 Jan. 2014.

Levine, Alison. On the Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadership. New York: Hatchett Book Group, 2014.

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