Daruma (dah-ROO-mah) was a fifth-century Indian monk who reached China after a perilous three-year sea voyage and became the founder of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. He is said to have trained the warrior monks of the Shaolin temple in Kung Fu, crossed the Yangtze River on a reed and meditated continuously for nine years (losing his arms and legs in the process). You can see why Daruma embodies resoluteness, perseverance and resilience.

Many of the tenets of Zen Buddhism (separating illusion from reality, nonattachment to emotions and ideas, self-discipline and embracing impermanence) are also key to successful investing, and many of the qualities Daruma is best known for are those we seek to emulate every day.

A popular form of Daruma in Japan is the papier-mâché doll, pictured here, traditionally purchased at New Year’s. The owner commits to fulfilling a goal through hard work and discipline and paints a pupil in the left eye. Once the goal is achieved, the right eye can be filled in, making the doll complete.

Our firm greets each New Year with this ritual to reaffirm our goals for our clients: the relentless pursuit of superior investment performance through focus, discipline, and the separation of illusion (misperceptions) from reality (fundamentals).

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