Friday, February 10, 2012

Financial Wisdom: Harry Connick Jnr

Harry Connick Jnr 

Harry Connick Jnr is a really fascinating singer. He comes across as intelligent and level headed when being interviewed. He's famous and he hasn't succumbed to the drugs which are highly prevalent in his industry. He has a great sense of humour and upon reading a few of his interviews - he appears to be a very wise person.

When queried about success he says, Liza Minnelli told him to, "Always be prepared for luck". 

His interpretation of Minnelli's advice is, "Luck does happen, but what a missed opportunity if you don't have any skill, if you don't have a craft. If you are fortunate enough to have a great opportunity come your way, be prepared for it; know what you're doing. That's kind of what happened to me. I practised and practised and practised and, yes, I did get lucky, but I think I was ready for it when it happened."

Luck is something highly questionable. People may view other people as being lucky when the underneath all the 'luck', they don't see the blood, sweat and tears of that person striving hard to practice to succeed at their endeavours.

Talent, skills or abilities may take years of practising and learning to acquire and when luck does happen to pass by, you would be ready to grasp it with both hands. But for the lazy, who has made no effort to learn and practise to gain skills, how can they expect luck to fall into their laps? So does luck really exist? Or is luck something that you make?

Highly talented musicians, crafters, lawyers, engineers, tennis players, snowboarders, olympic sportspeople and anyone in any profession or field are talented because they spend plenty of hours every single day for many years,  practising their craft and honing their skills. When any slight hint of opportunity comes their way, they're ready for it because they've been preparing themselves for years. Being passionate will obviously help. You don't see anyone famous nor successful not being a passionate person.

How would this relate to the field of PF?

If you think about it, there are investment opportunities everywhere. Whether it be the IPO from companies such as Facebook, Twitter or some amazing IT company/fad in the future or a very discounted property that has huge potential.

Or a global financial crisis that has resulted in property prices collapsing by up to 40% such as in the USA. Prime property in fantastic locations being sold during a low point in the business cycle. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity when you think about it. Only those who have funds saved up can take advantage of those opportunities when it does arise. Decades into the future, will your children's kids be looking back and saying, "Those who bought property during the GFC were really lucky!".

Was it luck? Or was it something more like hard work, the ability to take measured risk and the money saved from over the years? So when the luck (GFC) came their way, they were ready to grasp their opportunity.

And can you really blame it all on luck? Not really because acquiring skills, knowledge and talent takes years and years to hone and perfect. Only when you have those can you recognise when the opportunity comes your way. Infact, many opportunties (what some consider as 'luck') have probably come your way but whether or not you've been skillful enough or knowledgeable enough to recognise it and take advantage of it is a different matter.

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