Do you invest and plan like Captain Ahab or Captain Phillips?

Herman Melville’s book Moby Dick is a great read.  It is a book with colorful characters and a ton of suspense.    Captain Ahab is the main character who is in endless pursuit of the white whale that bit off part of his leg.   Captain Ahab wanted revenge on Moby Dick.   When I finished reading Moby Dick I thought what an amazing story.  My other thought was that Captain Ahab did not have any plan to capture the white whale.   His only plan was to kill Moby Dick and at any cost.   In the end the entire crew of the Pequod is killed as a result of Captain Ahab’s endless pursuit of the white whale.   If he had a plan his results may have been different.

Captain Phillips on the other hand was a man with a plan.   You may have seen the movie Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks about the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama.   The movie was great and like Moby Dick full of vibrant characters and an ocean of suspense.   Captain Phillips, according to the movie, ran numerous drills to make sure his crew was always prepared.     He drilled his crew and then drilled them some more.  As a result, when trouble arrived he and his crew were prepared to act.    Captain Phillips was in a position to save his ship, his crew and ultimately himself as result of having a plan and being prepared.

Do you identify more with Captain Ahab or Captain Phillips when it comes to your financial planning and investment readiness?   Are you the type to hop in a boat and set sale chasing after white whales or do you set a course that will deliver you to your financial destination?  I would say that most investors are like Captain Ahab in that they do not have a plan and they are always chasing something – a rumor, stock tip, return or yield.    If you plan and invest like Captain Phillips, your chances of success will rise.  An investor with a plan is more likely to achieve their goals than an investor who does not have any plan.   Nonetheless, once your plan is in place you need to review it often so that you are ready for whatever the markets toss your way.   A well prepared investor is more likely to stick to the plan through all types of market conditions.

I would encourage you to spend some time planning your financial future so that you end up more like Captain Phillips and less like Captain Ahab.

Bill Parrott is President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, LLC.



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