Balance your flight in the investment sky: Icarus tells you why
In today's exploration, we venture into Greek mythology. Through one of its popular ancient tales, we aim to unearth investment wisdom. Our focus centers on King Minos of Crete, the master inventor Daedalus, and his spirited son, Icarus. Their story is set against the backdrop of an ingenious labyrinth and a daring escape and offers more than just an adventurous narrative. It is a kaleidoscope of ambition, creativity, and the double-edged sword of human ingenuity.
Daedalus, with his unparalleled ingenuity, crafted an intricate labyrinth for King Minos, intended to confine the Minotaur—a fearsome creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull.
Ironically, the very brilliance that enabled him to create such a complex maze also led to his own downfall.
He and his son, Icarus, found themselves trapped within the very walls meant to imprison the beast. They were now victims of the genius that had once been their pride.
From this depth of despair and imprisonment, the story of Icarus and Daedalus unfolds not just as an exciting tale, but as a series of lessons disguised as the story of an adventurous escape. Stranded on the island of Crete, the duo yearned for freedom. Daedalus, a genius in the true sense and a master of his craft yet again came up with an extraordinary plan for freedom. With a blend of feathers and wax, he constructed two sets of wings, one for himself and the other for his son. His ingenious creation symbolizes the pinnacle of creativity and the fierce resolve to break free from custody.
These wings, however, required caution and moderation to operate. Daedalus, with a blend of paternal concern and wisdom, advised Icarus to maintain a balanced flight path. He was to avoid the tempting lows, close to the sea, and the dangerous highs near the sun. Yet, the story takes a sad dive as Icarus, swept up in the sheer joy of flight and perhaps a youthful urge to challenge his mortal limits, ascends higher and higher, too close to the blazing sun. The heat mercilessly melted the wax of his wings, leading to his tragic downfall into the sea below.
The sun’s temptation: Overconfidence in markets
In investing, the promise of big rewards from high-risk investments can be as tempting as the sun was to Icarus. Just like Icarus couldn't resist flying closer to the sun, investors might get drawn to the chance of making a lot of money quickly, often ignoring the risks that come with unpredictable markets. This pull towards quick gains shows how much people want to succeed, even if it means taking big risks.
The excitement of making money in such investments can feel great at first, much like Icarus enjoying his flight. But, just like he didn't see the danger of the sun melting his wings, investors might not see the signs of a market getting too hot or a risky investment about to fail. This kind of overconfidence can create a 'bubble,' where prices go way up because everyone is excited and buying, but the real value isn't there. When everyone realizes this, the bubble bursts, prices crash, and many investors are left trying to save what they can, similar to Icarus' fall.
The sea’s caution: Excessive conservatism
Icarus' story also imparts a lesson about the dangers of being overly cautious when investing. Just as Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sea because the moisture could weigh down his wings and ruin his flight, investors also face risks with an excessively cautious approach. This cautious strategy often involves relying heavily on low-risk, low-return investments, similar to how the sea's spray affected Icarus' wings.
Initially, this approach may seem wise, offering protection from the ups and downs of riskier markets.
However, just as the sea's subtle moisture threatened Icarus' ability to stay in flight, the appealing safety of conservative investing can quietly erode the potential for portfolio growth.
Steering through financial currents: Embracing balance with SIPs
Like Icarus, many investors succumb to the lure of the markets, attempting to make quick money. Research by SEBI has shown that during FY21-22, almost 90% of individual equity F&O traders lost money. When it comes to prudent financial planning, we place our trust in SIPs, helping you navigate market fluctuations with peace of mind, and assisting in gradually building wealth using mutual funds. That's the balanced flight that is bound to take you to your destination - your financial goal.
Indeed, finding the right avenues to start your SIP is not easy for individuals like us. In this context, your Mutual Fund Distributor (MFD) may be able to offer the necessary guidance, much like Daedalus to Icarus. They bring experience in addressing unique needs and recommend a balanced approach, utilising information accessed from your risk profile to help you navigate the investment labyrinth. They help you avoid becoming another Icarus by providing timely advice.
Remember, striking the right balance is the key to successful investing. If the idea seems difficult to you, like most of us, seek guidance from the experts.