Nick Murray: 18 pearls of wisdom

Nick Murray’s books, newsletters and talks have had a major impact on my career and influenced many of the ways I practice the art of financial planning and client communication. Here, I have compiled a list of his wisest, most salient quotes and phrases.

1. “Investment performance doesn’t determine real life returns; investor behaviour does.”

2. “If you think the market is ‘too high’, wait ’til you see it 20 years from now.”

3. “Surprise is the mother of panic.”

4. “Timing the market is a fool’s game, whereas time in the market is your greatest natural advantage.”

5. “All financial success comes from acting on a plan. A lot of financial failure comes from reacting to the market.”

6. “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.”

7. “The first rule of Q&A: refrain from answering questions no one has asked you yet.”

8. “Once you decide that mediocrity is unthinkable, your only choices are excellence and quitting.”

9. “You have to pick what you’re going to be worried about. Markets are volatile, but retirement is certain.”

10. “Let me state the general principle, in no uncertain terms: the only way to be assured of capturing the full permanent return of equities is to ride out every day of their temporary declines. It is simply not possible for anyone consistently to gain a timing advantage over the market by going into and out of it.”

11. “Human nature is a failed investor.”

12. “Investing is the age-old, never-ending emotional battle between fear of the futue and faith in the future.”

13. “There are only two kinds of money: wealth, and money that runs out.”

14. “Declines are temporary, gains are permanent.”

15. “Long-term investment success is almost totally a function of how one emotionally handles declines in the equity market, as opposed to how one’s portfolio handles them.”

16. “The excellent investment adviser believes passionately in the importance of what he does.”

17. “It doesn’t matter how much you know if you are too paralysed by anxiety to go out and ask people to do business wih you!”

18. “The excellent investment adviser is totally impervious to all objections about portfolios, markets, economics and politics… because those things have nothing to do with his product, which is, of course, himself.”

I hope this list provides insight into the mind of Nick Murray and why he has influenced so many great financial planners with his wisdom and wit. He has done a great service to many financial professionals and, in turn, their clients. Long may he continue to inspire his followers.

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