Beginner’s Luck: My Fishing Experience

I’m not into fishing but years ago, I went for my first and last deep-sea fishing trip with my two angler friends. During the trip, we collectively caught many fishes and I manage to catch a barracuda. Apparently, it’s not easy to catch one but somehow, I manage to. I seriously thought to myself, what is the big deal with fishing, it seems easy.

To be honest, I didn’t gain much from the fishing experience. I can’t say the same for my friends though. These guys have spent days and nights waiting in previous fishing trips, just to catch a single fish. They appreciated every single catch during the trip while I wasn’t truly appreciative.

Beginner’s Luck

According to my friends, it was just a beginner’s luck. Back then, I didn’t realize I was lucky. Reflecting on that trip now, I know what they mean. There were too many factors, unknown to me helped my fishing experience. For one, the boat had a sonar sensor and with it, we knew the best spot to cast our rods in the deep sea. Then there was the sunny weather and calm sea, the assistance of my friends and the vast fishing experience of the boat owner.

Some of these factors were not within my control, but they played a huge part in the success of my very first fishing experience. Take the weather or the roughness of the sea as an example. Can we control them? No. Although there is a weather forecast, we know the weather can change quickly. Now let’s imagine, instead of sunny it rained, and the sea got rough. I doubt I would have caught many fishes. Maybe none at all. In fact, I’m sure it would have been a terrible experience dealing with the waves and seasickness while worrying about my safety on the boat.

Same activity but two different outcomes. The real me would have thought fishing was simple and easy without realizing how lucky I was while the imaginative me would have been freaked out by the bad weather. In both cases, the external factors dictated the outcome. Do we have control of these external factors? No.   


When it comes to investment, it’s best to realize there are too many external factors dictating the outcome of our investments. Some may experience quick success, and some may experience terrible failure. The fallacy here is to think we somehow had control in both situations and allowing the outcome of the events to dictate our future behavior.  

Can I control:
1. the economy?
2. monetary or fiscal policy?
3. the stock market?
4. the property market?
5. commodity prices?
6. inflation?
7. which party comes into power?
8. real or fake news?
9. how the government or the leaders of the world think and behave?
10. natural disaster?
11. world peace?
12. war from breaking out?
13. terrorism?

The answer to all these questions is a big fat NO. Sometimes these external events work in our favour, sometimes they don’t. If they do, it doesn’t mean it will work again in the future. If no, it doesn’t mean it may not work in the future. These things go in a cycle, up and down. The point here is the outcome or return of our investment is not within our control. Sadly, the return is the only thing we compare and focus on.