Leave Your Tree Alone

I quoted Nick Murray last week and I'm going to do it again now given the market plunge of this year so far. On the cover of Nick's book there is an illustration of a tree...

Now before you read on, I’d like you to close the book for a few moments, and look at the image on the front cover. It’s a tree. It’s not a computer screen or an electronic stock board or a trading floor. It’s a tree. You plant it in the Earth and a wonderful force of nature causes it to take root, and to grow. You don’t have to do much with it; the air and theater and the nutrients it needs are all around the tree, and it knows how to use them. You don’t dig it up every ninety days to check on its progress. (Nothing much will have changed in that brief time, and you might harm the tree.) You don’t uproot the tree and store it in your garage over the winter, to protect it from what you regard as “bad weather.” (Though its leaves fall and it stops growing for a season, the tree itself does not die. And even leafless, the tree is still producing oxygen, without which you and I could not live.) Give the tree enough room, enough light, and enough time. Then leave it pretty much alone. It will give you back air and shade and beauty as it grows - and will go on doing so for your children, after you’re gone. That’s what investing is like - if you let it be. Wealth is no less organic than that tree; the growth of wealth in equity mutual funds is no less a force of nature.
— Nick Murray - Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth