Invest Like a Dog

Invest Like a Dog

June 05, 2020

Over my entire life we have always had a family dog. Every kind of breed formed part of our pack from little fuzzy yappers to big furry quiet types; hairless, hyper and all kinds of temperaments. So what do dogs have to do with what we do? I think dogs have some of the best instincts to be investors. And with the world as crazy as it is right now, we could all use a little more dog sense in our lives.


What are these innate character traits? Let’s start with optimism. Dogs are eternal optimists. Ever throw a ball for your dog? You’re busy… you don’t have time to throw that thing again. And again. Over and over. But your dog BELIEVES you will. And guess what? You do. It takes an optimistic outlook generally to be an investor. And even though we don’t throw the ball forever and the markets don’t go up non-stop, they do trend a single direction over time. Up. And you will throw that ball again… is there anything more fun? At least for your dog?


Dogs are loyal. And who you are doesn’t matter to them. Dogs don’t see race, religion, nationality, political affinity, socio-demographic status or anything else that clouds our human perspective of others. Dogs just see the people they love and they love them unconditionally. How does that help with investing? If you have a good strategy and solid investments, loyalty pays off. And it helps when you can shrug off all those human things your dog doesn’t see and stick to the program. Your dog knows if you are having a bad day. And a person who is cruel to dogs? You know the dogs learn quickly to avoid them. Sometimes investing is like that. You can be loyal to a fault to a certain investment or asset class. But mostly, loyalty is rewarded.


Dogs are resourceful. Our problem child, the rescue dog, has figured out ways to open doors and kennels, get through fences, open cabinets to get in the garbage, knock down dumpsters to find “treats” and those are just the things we know about! It shows that sometimes you have to be persistent and try different and new things to make it work, just like in an investment plan.


Finally, dogs are efficient; some might say lazy. Ever catch your dog lying in the sun? Our puppy loves to get comfortable in the ottoman on the patio and soak in the rays. Or conversely, they’ll find the coldest part of the house and stretch out on the floor to keep cool. It’s about recognizing changes and proper positioning for the environment and this is a great lesson for us as investors.


You dog-owners know what I am talking about when it comes to dog instincts. And they are much closer to us socially, as a species, than most people think. We could sure use more of their sense for our human pack in these challenging times.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful. The companies presented here are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be viewed as an investment recommendation.