What The Game Of Go Taught Me About Investing

Go or Weiqi, as it is more commonly known in the Chinese-speaking world, is actually one of the oldest board game where two players compete to surround a wider territory.

Its popularity got a boost in recent years after the supercomputer, AlphaGo, defeated two of the top Go players in the world.

Yet, till today, not many people have played the game of Go. According to some estimates, there are about 60 million active Go players in the world. That is just about 10% of the number of active chess players in the world and less than 1% of the entire global population.

I have been enjoying the game for a few years now. As a beginner of the game, it has taught me some interesting concepts and some which I have brought to my investing process as well. Here are two of them.

Don’t Be Too Aggressive

Unlike other board game like chess, Go is not a game where you can “kill” the opponent. Instead of destroying the opponent, you are merely pushing to have an advantage over your opponent. Ironically, if you try to be too aggressive in the game and push to destroy your opponent, it would most likely backfire on you, resulting in your own annihilation.

Similarly in investing, when you try to be too aggressive in your choice of investment, you increase your chances of investing in highly speculative companies, which can destroy your entire portfolio. As a rule of thumb, it is always better to play it safe and only take the risk when necessary.

Don’t Rush The Game

Each game can take a few hours. Many professional games can spread more than 16 hours and be played over two days. The longest game ever recorded was played for 158 days. Go is a game of patience, and so is the “game” of investing.

Our investment would most likely only see real results after a few years. Moreover, as an investor, we often have a few decades of investing career ahead of us. So, we should take time and choose our investments wisely. There is no hurry and no reason for us to choose investments which we are not fully confident about.

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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 doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.