MENU

2 Investing Things to Learn From the Clock That Measures Time for 10,000 Years

Credit: Longnow.org

I recently come across a video describing a clock. I know clocks are hardly exciting stuff but this is a very special clock. It is called the “Clock Of The Long Now”. It is a time-keeping device that is able to measure time for the next 10,000 years.

Partly funded by the founder of Amazon.com, Inc., Jeff Bezos, the project is meant to foster long-term thinking. I think the clock symbolises two very important things in investing.

1. Long-term thinking creates great work

Thinking for the long-term allows us to accomplish so much more. A clock maker can build a clock that measures 24 hours like so many others but he can also choose to build one that can measure time for 10,000 years and be remembered for his work for centuries.

In a tangential vein, how many short term traders do you know who are famous and successful in what they do? I could not think of one at the top of my head. But, how many long-term investors do you know who are successful in what they do? There’s Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Peter Lynch, George Soros, and the list goes on and on.

2. Having a management team that focuses on the long-term is a great advantage

Managements of public listed companies can be caught by the influence of short-term thinking in the share market. They might worry about when their share prices would fall in the next month or when their companies would be unable to meet the next quarter’s earnings expectations.

It would be a gem if you come across a management team who can think long-term. Jeff Bezos is one such example. The Amazon.com founder has resisted Wall Street’s short-term-oriented influence for many years and has focused on building a company that can last the test of time. Our very own David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, has recommended this company since 1997 and the investment has been a phenomenal success, at one point clocking gains of more than 10,000% for him (though those returns have become a little smaller since Amazon has recently declined a little).

In Singapore, there are also some management teams who have proven that they are focused on the long term future of their companies. Boustead Singapore Limited (SGX: F9D) and Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34) both have management teams who have consistently invested in long-term projects for their companies without worrying about the short-term impacts that the projects might have on their company’s share prices. Such a characteristic can be hard to come by but investors who spot them might be well rewarded.

Foolish Summary

Long-term thinking is the key to great success in anything that you do. As long as you are able to fully understand the benefits of long-term thinking, you will become a much better investor.

Learn more about long-term thinking through a FREE subscription toTake Stock Singapore.Sign up here to The Motley Fool's weekly investing newsletter that will teach you how to GROW your wealth in the years ahead.

Like us on Facebook to follow our latest news and articles. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Stanley Lim owns shares in Wilmar International.