The Grinch vs. Santa Claus – Who is the better investor?

Brian Cody |

The holiday season is a time of generosity, kindness, good cheer, presents, food, family, and fun. In Dr. Seuss’s classic story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Grinch was intent on ruining, well, all of it. He would eliminate Christmas that year for the Whos down in Whoville by stealing all the presents Santa delivered, decorations, and food so the Whos would experience a miserable Christmas. At the end of the story, the Grinch realized he was wrong, and we witnessed a transformation. The Grinch showed us that it is okay to change for the better. Santa Claus has brought us good cheer and joy for a lifetime, first for us as children and then providing that magic to our children. From the outside looking in, the Grinch was a taker, while Santa has always been in the habit of giving. Each has their own personality and is driven by internal motivations. Analyzing their unique characteristics, which of the two would be the better investor, the Charlie Munger or Warren Buffett of the Christmas holiday? Let’s break it down:


The Grinch


Patient – The Grinch is very patient and waits for the opportune time. He waited all year for Christmas Eve when it would hurt the most. Then he waited all day until the Whos were all tucked in and asleep in their beds. Patience and willingness to let time work for you in investing are critical to growing your wealth. What makes Warren Buffett, for example, interesting as an investor is less his savvy stock-picking ability than his willingness to be patient in investing and building wealth steadily for over 80 years.


Thinks outside the box – There are multiple instances where the Grinch is forced to think on his feet, especially late Christmas Eve night while he is in one of the Whos’ homes and is confronted by little Cindy Lou Who, questioning the Grinch as to why he is shoving the Christmas tree up the chimney. The Grinch could have panicked, but he thought quickly and explained to her with all the confidence in the world that a bulb was broken and he was taking the tree to get the bulb repaired. When it comes to investing, thinking outside of the box and not following the panic or enthusiasm of the ever-fluctuating market may be beneficial to your wealth preservation.


Willing to evolve with a changing world – The beating heart of the story is the Grinch’s inevitable willingness to change, to evolve with the changing world around him. Initially, he was miserable and irritated by the fact that the Whos seemed overly concerned about their toys, fancy food, and other materialistic pursuits. The Grinch, with a heart three times too small, decided to make them feel as bad as he was feeling. However, he would realize they were less concerned about materialism and embraced Christmas for what it truly means: togetherness, family, friendship, and goodwill. Remarkably, the Grinch transformed from a bitter old splinter to a kind and generous creature. As an investor, you have to be willing to modify your strategy and portfolio with the changing world and market.


Attention to detail – The Grinch’s attention to detail cannot be overlooked. His plan is flawless, and he is able to take every single last thing that might represent Christmas so the Whos would miss out. In fact, he was able to take everything in a single night, even so much as to remove the last crumb from the floor. Attention to detail when it comes to investing is critical when making financial decisions that could impact your strategy and financial goals. Working with a financial professional can help you recognize details you may have overlooked, as investing and finance can be very complex and is rapidly changing every day.


Santa Claus


Sticks to traditional habits over the long-term – Santa’s tradition has changed little over the years. He still wears the same red coat and hat with rosy cheeks, a long white beard, and a deep-bellied chuckle. He continues to deliver children presents from his reindeer draw sleigh as opposed to ordering them through Amazon because where would the magic be in that? Investors can learn much from Santa by sticking to their original strategy and waiting it out regardless of what is happening around them. Despite the invention of electric cars and sleighs, Santa still motors his by flying reindeer. It is the long-term results he is after, the happiness of the children and their children.


Believes in teamwork Santa realized that trying to do it all on his own was not feasible, so he employed the help of not just reindeer to pull the sleigh but elves to make the toys in miraculous toy factories at the North Pole. When it comes to investing, consulting a financial professional to help you sort out the nuances of the market and how decisions might impact your strategy and goals could benefit you down the road.


Attention to detail – Santa's attention to detail is unavoidable, from the precision of all the toys being made, to the logistics of getting the toys where they need to be around the world, to managing the elves at the factories and avoiding lousy weather all while ensuring excited children don't see him. It all works because of his attention to detail. When it comes to investing, attention to detail is vital when researching a company or fund, recognizing uncertainty in the market, managing your risk tolerance, and getting the help you need from a financial professional.


Being transparent and honestSanta has a list of naughty or nice. If you don't get the presents you were hoping for, there was a reason, and Santa has no qualms about explaining that you were on the naughty list this year and to paying closer attention next year to being better. Being transparent and honest with yourself and your financial professional will help make it easier to avoid any pitfalls you may experience and stay aligned closer to your long-term financial investing strategy and risk tolerance.


It is hard to say who would have been the better investor, The Grinch or Santa Claus. However, seeking a financial professional's assistance would benefit both to help them formulate their financial goals and investment strategy.


Important Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.


This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions


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