Economics of Life: Fishing and Investments Aren't All That Different

Oct 04, 2013 | by Franck Cushner, CFP®

By Patrick Kaskiw

Take yourself out of the office, where the only two screens you analyze are Lowrance's, and the graphs you interpret are structure scans.  You see, Wall Street and your favorite Honey Hole aren't too different after all.  It's all a game.  Like the financial industry, fishing is one big investment.  You start with your initial investment: a boat.  Then comes countless hours of your time, trying to predict the behavior of the proverbial market of fish, and how they will react to external factors, many of which are unpredictable.  Even the experts don't get it right all the time.  But, when you call the shots right and catch a big one, the feeling is indescribable.  

I spent my summer as an intern on Wall Street, and the rest of the year down at college in the SEC - and I don't mean the Securities And Exchange Commission; I'm talking about the Southeastern Conference.  Any chance I get, I put aside my Economics textbooks and hit the lake as an LSU Collegiate Bass Angler.  Why?  Because it's what keeps me sane.  I've experienced the rapid pace of the financial industry, and how hectic working in NYC can be.  I know the commute across the Hudson, and the frustration of just missing the path train.  It's all too scheduled.  When I'm on the lake, it doesn't matter what time it is.  It's therapeutic, yet frustrating in a good way.  Investing hours of time into finding patterns, reading charts, and analyzing credible sources sounds all too familiar, but it's a world's difference.  With fishing decisions, an off day doesn't cost you - or your clients - a large sum of money.  You learn from what you did wrong, and remember what you did correctly.  It teaches you life lessons.  Whether you flip a nice percentage on an IPO, or a 6 lb. bass in to the boat, the feeling of accomplishment makes all the stress, research, and time well worth it.  It encourages patience, and instills optimism.  In an industry where being cynical is inevitable, fishing is it's remedy.   

We all need that constant in our life that can clear our head.  When I stare off the bow of the boat through the lenses of my Costa Del Mar sunglasses, I see more than just water.  I realize what I'm missing when I'm behind a desk.  So, as I sit at my desk in my fraternity house bedroom, I ask you one thing.  Do yourself a favor: make it a point to get out of the office when you can, and hit that Honey Well of largemouth bass.  Separate yourself from the hustle-and-bustle, and turn off CNBC.  Fishing is a lot like investments, and you'll never know if you're constantly engulfed in stock market.  Round up a group of buddies, gas up the boat, throw some ice in the cooler and crack a cold one.  Go shoot a deer, or cook some chili, because, hell, we're in America, and there's nothing like an acoustic guitar at a bonfire on a cold night.  Take yourself to that paradise, because that screensaver of a beach on your computer won't cure your fix.  Go throw a line in the water, and I hope you find fishing as therapeutic as I do.   

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