This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on June 28 at 7:31 a.m. EDT.We all suffer from a remarkable degree of impatience. We live in a world of sound bites, and the sense of instant gratification permeates every corner of our society. In my chosen field of money management, the expression "long term" is an endangered species. Consider public policy, executive compensation, the manner in which we communicate and the investment business.
- Public policy: Hard, thoughtful political decisions are discarded in favor of short-term and popular decisions. In the end, these decisions are usually more costly.
- Executive compensation: Many of our business and investment managers have gotten away with a "heads I win, tails you lose" mentality over the past decade, and it nearly destroyed our financial system.
- Communication: In our social lives and in the way we communicate, convenience, expediency and haste rule the day. Speed dating and texting have replaced romance and conversation. Even texts are abbreviated as we now tweet. (Literacy and SAT English scores must be on the descent!)
- Investment business: Demands on short-term investment performance have intensified and have never been greater. Short-term decision making and trading (what I describe as worshiping at the altar of momentum) has increasingly trumped intelligent, analytical and thoughtful long-term investing.