The Accidental Investor: Bad Timing

The first in our series of light hearted columns entitled ‘The Accidental Investor’ by one of our contributors, Nick Warren. This one is called ‘Bad Timing’.  Enjoy…

…I’ve made some mistakes in my time, and quite often those mistakes have been about timing. There are many categories of mistake of course, from the most meaningless and mundane to the most devastating and divine, but almost all of them come down to timing. “If I’d had more time to think it through I might have made a different decision, if I’d had less time to think about it I would have gone with my instinct!”

On the mundane front, as a student I once mistakenly left my bankcard and my PIN in the sweaty hands of my younger brother when I went on holiday. In case he found himself in an emergency of some kind.

He did in fact have a number of emergencies during my ten-day sojourn on the Grecian island of Paros, but they were mostly confined to the local bar where he faced the nightly terror of frequently empty beer glasses in the hands of himself and the growing chorus of his many new friends.

This was long before the era of mobile phones and bank alerts and so I only discovered my overdraft upon my return. On the timing front, if I had waited thirty years to lend him my bankcard I could have cancelled it the first time The Old Red Lion came up as a vendor.

On the divine front I have a thematically linked regret about timing.

On a recent business trip to Abu Dhabi I was staying in the Park Rotana [highly recommended Executive Lounge] where I spied a fantastic facsimile of a traditional British pub called ‘Coopers’ on the ground floor. A dark den of draught beers and bright British and exotic European accents, I was thrilled by the promise of pleasure but I disciplined my desire and told myself, ‘now is not the time.’

In a manner that would warm the cockles of many a financial advisor, I decided to forestall the pleasure of investing in the establishment’s many delightful draught beers until the very last night of my business trip. My reasoning was that by then my work would be done and I could catch the next morning flight home with a roaring hangover and a clear conscience.

More fool me.

As it turned out, the last day of my business trip coincided with the birth date of the Prophet Mohammed and in a gesture of respect, Coopers was closed!

In fact the entire hotel was celebrating the great mullah’s birthday and in a riot of joyous outpouring not a single restaurant or any eatery in the city was serving alcohol that day or night.

I was able to get over the devastating disappointment of this deified dryness by dashing to the Executive Lounge just in time to raise a toast.

Good times.

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