What Can Star Wars Teach Us About Investing?

by Ryan Detrick, LPL Research

Today is known throughout the galaxy as Star Wars Day 2017. The date was chosen as a play on words of the famous Star Wars quote, “May the Force be with you.” Therefore, May 4 is the chosen day. “May the fourth be with you,” get it?

Per Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist, “In honor of this day, we decided to take famous quotes from the films and extract market insights. Quantitative minds would consider these spurious relationships, but those who believe in the force might think otherwise.”

Darth Vader in A New Hope – “I’ve been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master.”

Investing can be a humbling experience. As soon as we consider ourselves to be masters of the universe, the market usually teaches us something new. The cost of the lesson is capital. The longer you invest, the more you realize you don’t know. Darth Vader was a little too full of himself and in the end, it caught up with him. Many investors experience the same fate, at least from time to time.

Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope – “Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan. Now that’s a name I have not heard in a long time. A long time.”

Investing is cyclical, and rest assured that what propels markets today has done so before. Or as Obi-Wan learned, the past eventually will catch up with you. Think about it like this, Sir Isaac Newton might have been smart enough to discover gravity, but he wasn’t wise enough to avoid investing in the South Sea Company bubble of the early 1700s and losing nearly his entire fortune. Bull (and bear) markets can lead rational investors do make irrational decisions, and studying the past is one way to avoid repeating it, or at least give yourself a chance.

C-3PO in A New Hope – “I suggest a new strategy, R2; let the Wookiee win.”

Some of the most successful investors can acknowledge when they are wrong. George Soros is famous for this. Sticking to a losing trade simply because “it should be working” isn’t how to create wealth, in fact, it will do the opposite.  Acknowledging when you’re wrong is a very important component of successful investing.

Han Solo in A New Hope – “Great shot kid, that was one in a million.”

All it takes is one great investment to make up for many poor investments. But you won’t ever make it if you don’t take the shot of course.

Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back – “Luke, I am your father.”

We couldn’t think of anyway this relates to investing, but what a great movie quote! Have a great Star Wars Day everyone!




Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide or be construed as providing specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual security.
The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted.
Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market.
This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.
To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor, please note that LPL Financial LLC is not an affiliate of and makes no representation with respect to such entity.
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