We live in a complicated and interconnected world. The same values that can drive an investment decision also naturally influence other areas of our lives. Appreciating art has helped me identify what I value, and realised that it has also reflected in my investing style. Let me explain:
Mediocre doesn’t excite me much
Art that attempts to please the masses usually pleases no one. Case in point: practically all hotel room artwork. I value bold statements, unconventional truths and art that reflects our future. I like to invest in areas where I can outperform the market – go beyond the market average.
Humans are complex and our world is complex
Do you think the below image is an Startrek inspired abstract space image? It’s actually what the inside of a Tanzanite looks like under a microscope, photographed. Art has an amazing way of bringing the complexity and scale of our world to our attention. The more I acknowledge the complexity that surrounds us the more I appreciate intelligent investors who can strike a path and have a view through the chaos and noise.
The power of really looking
Artist Joan Ross is really good at demonstrating this. At first, her artworks depict a psychedelic melange of vivid fluoro and familiar colonial imagery. But when you look closer, you notice a sinister undertone as she questions Australia’s colonial past. See below artwork, “Collectors Paradise 2019”. Initially it looks like a fluoro menagerie, but then you realise that the birds are decapitated and surveyed by cameras. What’s going on here? She’s actually commenting on species loss and colonisation but it is at first masked by the bright colours and fantasy vibes.
The same can occur in investing.
When you really look at something, when you analyse a subject from all points of view, often you can find something hidden that others haven’t seen. Imagine if all investors had looked closer at ABC Learning or Enron…
Be comfortable not having all the answers
We cannot predict the future, if we could, we would all be perfect investors. Investing takes risk. That risk can be calculated, measured and managed but there is always the unknown unknowns. When we appreciate the art we may not know the full story behind a work or what the artists true intention. We have to be ok with never knowing what Mona Lisa is really smiling about. It’s good practice for investing.
Jodi is a millennial investor and an investment relations consultant at eInvest. This article is the opinion of the author and is not financial advice. Speak to your financial advisor or broker for more information. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you. Don’t forget to always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the active ETF you are invested in.