What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach You About Being a Better Investor by Jae Jun, Old School Value
Or that’s what I thought during my teens and early twenties.
I actually studied ancient history as one of my high school topics and did very well. All I had to do was remember some pages and regurgitate it during exams.
But that only got me so far.
I only got over this incorrect way of thinking by keeping an open and multi-disciplinary mindset. Something I thank Charlie Munger for teaching me.
So what does this have to do with Abraham Lincoln?
Let’s start off with a brief historical account and I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up where I’m going with this.
A Brief History Lesson on Abraham Lincoln
In 1809 Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin with a single room.
When he was 3, his younger brother was born but dies.
At the age of 5, he attends a tiny log house school, but is then pulled out because his family moved to Indiana.
At age 8, Abraham was kicked in the head by a horse and thought to be dead.
Later than year, his mother passes away.
From 1820 to 1822 (age 11 to 13), Abraham goes to school on and off and still doesn’t have a real form of education.
At 19 years of age, his sister dies while giving childbirth.
At 22, Abraham leaves his family and becomes independent and starts working as a clerk in a village store. He starts to learn basic math and educates himself through books.
Throughout the next year of his life, Abraham saves up his earnings but the Black Hawk War breaks out and he enlists.
Once the war was over, the store that he worked at went bankrupt so he and a business partner buy a local village store.
But it failed.
Now only 23 years old, Abraham is badly in debt from a failed business.
He then decides to join the Illinois General Assembly and begins to study law.
Next year, at 24, his failed business partner dies and the debt gets transferred to him, sinking him further into debt.
In the same year, his girlfriend dies of a fever.
Within just two years of starting to study law, he gets his license at 28 and also wins a famous murder case defending Henry Truett.
Fast forward another 8 years to 1846 and Abraham is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
3 years of politics must have tired Abraham because in 1849, he dedicates his time to practice law again and also gets his first patent. This coming from a man who started basic math at the age of 22.
He is known as “Honest Abe” and built up his reputation as one of the best and honest lawyers.
Next year in 1850 when Abraham is 40, and just a week out from his birthday, his 3 year old son dies.
His father dies the following year.
By 1854, Abraham is back in politics to oppose the passing and signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act which acts as the catalyst towards abolishing slavery and raising his stature to become president.
For the next 6 years, he continues to deliver speech after speech and in 1860, he becomes the 16th president of the United States of America.
Sadly, President Lincoln is assassinated at the age of 56.
What President Lincoln Can Teach You About Investing and Life
“Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Abraham Lincoln
If I were to jot down my life events, it’s full of roses and blossoms compared to Lincoln.
That’s why his life is so inspirational for you and me.
I was busy sucking on my thumb, playing games and asking for pocket money during my teens. Then I got to my early twenties, realized I graduated university without really knowing anything applicable to the real world.
I was just going with the flow.
But luckily, I lost a lot of money which jerked me to reality and got things on track.
Without having any formal network or education in finance, I still feel like an underdog in the financial space to be honest.
I often feel like I have to do twice the reading and writing to catch up to where I think I should be.
What about you?
Do you feel “late” to investing?
Are you overwhelmed with trying to learn accounting and understanding the technical talk of the media?
Do you think other people are smarter than you?
Are you upset that your results are not as good as some?
Or maybe you’re at the top of your game and feel complacent.
Like you have the Midas touch.
Then take it from Lincoln whether it’s your investing or something else.
- Don’t give up
- Keep reading
- Keep searching
- Keep moving forward
- It’s never too late to start learning
- But always be thankful
Here’s a quote that was shared with me recently by my church mentor.
Spare Some Time to Reflect and Give Thanks
Most old school value readers are from the U.S, but for the 20-30% of you, it’s Thanksgiving here in America.
It’s become so commercialized that the true meaning has vanished but it’s a tradition that I greatly admire and respect.
In fact, this all ties in nicely because Abraham Lincoln was also the one who officially proclaimed Thanksgiving to be a part of the U.S in 1863.
I’m Thankful For…
On October 16, I quit my job and emails and messages of encouragement flooded in.
I’ve now upgraded from a tiny desk at home, to a larger desk in a small office.
It’s very “old school” with no internet at the moment, no cable, no kitchen, no proper heat control.
But it’s the simple things in life that I’m thankful for and you are a part of that.
Now I’ve got a cool brick corner wall as a nice background for future videos/webinars that I host.
What about you?
This post was first published at old school value.
You can read the original blog post here What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach You About Being a Better Investor.
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