Smooth seas & skillful sailors

Marinas across Canada will be busy this weekend as the nation’s sailors start putting their boats back in the water. Sailing and investing are a lot alike: they’re based on simple concepts that can take years to master (and if you’re not careful they can get expensive very quickly!).

But more importantly, experienced sailors and investors understand the difference between controlling the sails and controlling the wind -- some things are within our control, and some things are not. So no matter what the cut of your jib, skill, to a certain degree, is best measured against the conditions.

The best sailors and investors will take advantage of prevailing winds to course their boats through clearer waters, and stay away from stormy situations. But as every sailor knows, if you spend enough time on the water you’ll inevitably find yourself in a storm. It’s only then that the best sailors will prove their worth. Smooth seas do not make for skillful sailors. If the winds change direction, we plot a course for safe harbours.

Ben Kizemchuk is a Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor with Altus Securities Inc. in Toronto. He offers financial planning and investment management for high net worth Canadian investors. Ben focuses on high quality investments, the Growth and Income Portfolios, low risk investing, and reducing tax.