What to do if your investments – or your chess games – turn sour

When I showed a pre-publication copy of Rich As A King to Jim Bob Duggar (of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,”) he made the comment, “Chess teaches the basic principles of life” (see below for his complete quote). His words reflected the twists and turns of today’s Anand/Carlsen faceoff (Game #4 of the 2013 World Championship).

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”250px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]“Chess teaches the basic principles of life” -Jim Bob Duggar[/dropshadowbox]

Although Anand was mired in a “lost game,” he persevered. He said afterwards, “Something went wrong in the opening. I made one illogical move after the next and then I missed something with this knight move. And then I was just basically lost.” Yet he didn’t flinch. He redoubled his efforts, coming up with a series of game-changing moves, and eventually ended the game in a draw.

His ability to stay strong regardless of the circumstances reminded me of a conversation I had with Susan Polgar when we were writing the final chapter of Rich As A King. The chapter is titled, “64 Strategies to Make You Rich as a King” and strategy #34 is simply called, “If you blunder, don’t give up fighting.” Susan tells the story of how she went head-to-head with Boris Gelfand in 1991. She found herself down a rook and some pawns, a situation where many people would resign. But rather than backing down, she kept battling, and eventually ended up in a draw.

The same principal of revamping your strategy and not quitting in an unfavorable situation applies when handling your money. When picking stocks, bonds, mutual funds (or whatever investments you choose), you may make some mistakes, or your opponent – the market – may put you in an uncomfortable situation. You’ll find yourself losing. It happens to everyone. Like Duggar says, “It’s a basic principal of life.” But don’t give up. Focus on your goal, restructure your pieces, look for new ideas, plow ahead.

Though Anand didn’t win today’s game, he drew. And that’s certainly a lot better than losing.

Don’t forget to download a free copy of The Grandmaster’s Toolbox at www.RichAsAKing.com. And here’s the complete quote from Jim Bob Duggar:

“Chess teaches the basic principles of life. There are consequences or benefits for every decision we make. It is vital that each person consider how today’s decisions affect tomorrow’s future. We recommend you read Rich As A King.”

Jim Bob Duggar

Father of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting


Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing (Morgan James Publishing, 2014, Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstein)