Money Talk

Investing Is Like Baking a Pie

The endgame is what you care about – not what’s cooking up in the mean time.

Have you made pumpkin pie?

I have, in college. The end result was amazing! My dorm smelled incredible, and everyone wanted to be my friend afterward. However, creating a pumpkin pie is an extremely nerve-wracking process. It turns out a pumpkin pie looks really unappealing up in the interim between initial conception and final product, even if you’re following a time-tested, classic recipe.

Here’s my experience baking a pumpkin pie:

-The filling appears to be entirely liquid. Thin liquid. You can’t imagine this liquid ever turning into anything solid.

-I freaked out about this. I was very tempted to add in more flour, but my friend convinced me out of it. “Just follow the instructions,” she pleaded soothingly.

-I kept peering into the oven to check on the pie. Dramatization:

Me: WAIT, THE PIE LOOKS HORRIBLE!

ME, 10 minutes later: EVERYTHING IS DOOMED. WHY DID I EVEN START MAKING THIS PIE?

ME, 20 minutes later: OKAY, NOW IT LOOKS LIKE THE PIE IS MAYBE SOLIDIFYING?

ME, Pulling pie from oven: Holy sh*t. This looks delicious.

There was no reason to check on the pie every ten minutes. The cookbook knew what it was talking about. The journey was kind of an eyesore at the beginning, but the final product was scrumptious.

So, why am I telling you this long, sordid tale of making a pumpkin pie?

Well, I happen to think investing is a lot like making a pumpkin pie. The endgame is what you care about – not what’s cooking up in the mean time.

Even though it may not seem intuitive, when it comes to your milestones there’s no reason to track your numbers on a day-to-day basis. As a WiseBanyan client, you’re following the tried and true recipe of passive investing, chock full of the lowest fees and seamless automation. Like checking on a pumpkin pie 10 minutes into baking, when you initially begin investing you might see what you could perceive as a disaster (a short term loss).

Pictured: my reaction to the pie 10 minutes into baking. via GIPHY

But if you start freaking out and trying to interfere, you’re going to botch the final product (your long-term potential gain: the final goal). The trick is trusting a reliable recipe.

Bottom Line:

Just like baking a pumpkin pie, when it comes to investing, it’s best to ignore your short-term emotions to focus on achieving your financial goals the tried and true way. The wait might make you nervous, but you know that in order to accomplish what you want, you have to avoid making conclusions shortly after jumping into the process. Invest (and bake) patiently.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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Aliza Kellerman Aliza Kellerman is the Manager of Content Strategy at WiseBanyan. When she's not writing about the life and times of the IRA, she's hanging out with her pug.