Hi Mount Research draws inspiration from the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), which embodies a
near-perfect blend of patience and action.
My history with herons is a long one. I grew up just a couple miles away from one of the largest heron
nesting sites on the East Coast. As a child it was common to see them flying high overhead. Now I
regularly see them in the lagoon at the park near my house in Milwaukee and along the shoreline of the
lake near the family getaway in central Wisconsin. If I had a spirit animal, this would be it.
Herons don’t wade at the water’s edge just for the thrill of getting their feet wet. Don’t mistake a
willingness to stoically stand motionless for minutes on end for passivity. In its stillness, a heron is active
through observation and positioning. When the opportunity comes for a strike, it’s time to be decisive.
Dinner depends on it.
Active does not mean endless action or meaningless activity. Moreover, we too often mistake busyness
for productive activity.
This provides a great model for active investing: Get a sense of the environment, be positioned for
success, and move when the odds are in your favor. When it is time to adjust our portfolios, do so
Be stubborn enough to trust the process and find the opportunity. Be flexible enough to recognize when
it is not working and adapt as necessary.
If there are no fish to be found, we cannot be afraid to try another lake. If the conditions are not right,
we can move on or continue to wait. There is no need to force any action.
The heron does not suffer from wasted movement or frantic busyness. There is plenty of careful and
To be clear, not every strike yields a fish, but in positioning itself for success and a keen understanding of
the environment, the heron put the odds in its favor.
To paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whoever cannot be still should be wary of too much action; whoever
cannot stand action, should beware of extended stillness.
This is embodied by the Great Blue Heron, which is a model of patient decisiveness that provides daily