Trading barbs takes away from the bigger picture
By Bwire Mugolla | July 22nd 2020
There are many schools of thought regarding how to invest money and make more of it. Some people spend their time and money following stocks and investing in new ones every couple of days. Sometimes they make big money, but more often than not they end up losing a lot by dealing too much in the search for short term gains.
There are others who invest carefully and occasionally but do not spend too much time fretting over which stock will go public next. They put their money in and let it stay there for a long period, perhaps over decades. It is similar to many real estate investors, who spot a good opportunity and sink their money in before the market begins to grow. The earnings usually take years and years to come to fruition, but it is worth it in the long run.
All of the short term stock trading takes a great amount of time and pulls the focus away from the bigger picture. It destroys the potential of the future at the expense of the present.
Winners are uncommon in the short term investment game. Slow and steady wins the race.
This kind of mentality is tried and true, and should be the basis for how we think about transforming Kenya into the best version of itself that it can be. If we spend too much time fretting over immediate gains, we will have losses in the future.
That is not to say that we should not shift our strength primarily towards fighting Covid-19 right now. That is beyond and above all other issues facing Kenya in 2020. It will not go away on its own and it behoves each and every one of us to follow government restrictions with regards to virus mitigation.
But when thinking about issues that will face us in the long term, we need to begin thinking with an investor’s mentality.
I am referring, primarily, to the state of politics in our country today. While some politicians, such as President Uhuru Kenyatta, are working on laying the groundwork for long term prosperity in Kenya, others are busy trying to achieve power in the immediate term.
The recent news that officials and supporters of two opposing teams running in 2022 were trading barbs is yet another demonstration of the fact that politicians waste far too much time in matters that are not contributing to the development of our nation.
To begin with, 2022 is two years away. Any leader who is busy campaigning for something that is occurring almost two years away from now is not investing in the future. He is wasting the mandate given to him by Kenyan voters that put their weight behind him and had faith in what he promised.
On the other hand, Uhuru is somehow keeping focus in the political noise. As he has said time and again to reporters as well as those in his inner circle, the final years of his presidency will be marked primarily by one thing: ensuring that Kenya continues to grow and prosper well into the future.
Turning us into a middle income country. Securing peace and tranquillity in the region. Building a harmonious, cohesive society that supports more than fights. Presenting Kenya as the regional leader when it comes to international relations.
These are the things that will mark his legacy. While it is a pity that politicians obsessed with 2022 are blighting the political landscape, it is best for us citizens to ignore them as background noise.
We voted Uhuru into office so he can deliver on his promises, and there are still a few years left for that to be achieved. But as we know from experience, such lofty goals do not happen overnight.
They take years to come to fruition. It is the same thing as investing for the long term. While there might be many twists and turns along the way, the eventual fruits are well worth the wait.
So while news reports treat barbs amongst political parties as tabloid-worthy fodder, we as the responsible Samaritans should be disregarding this drama. There are more important things to deal with in the moment, and more worthy goals to work towards in the next decade and beyond.
Mr Mugolla is a public policy analyst.
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