Lessons from nature’s masters: The mighty Dung Beetle
19 Jul, 2022

The Scarab Beetle, commonly known as the dung beetle, might seem an unusual choice to inspire South Africans to make good financial choices as they start to rebuild their wealth this year … but scratch the surface and you will discover a determined little creature that makes one big investment (before its offspring arrive) in a vehicle that will house and nourish them until they fly the nest.

The Scarab Beetle video is part of a series of wildlife videos, titled Resilience is in our Nature, launched by 10X Investments as mankind looks to 2022 as a longed-for time of recovery and rebuilding. The videos – which show animals, including ants, peacocks and reef sharks, facing down adversity – support 10X’s Rebuild SA campaign, which gives savers who open a new unit trust or tax-free saving account the first half of the year fee-free.

The dung beetle’s work is tough and dirty, for sure, but this little beast is not without its glamour: Scarabs have been inspiring humans since ancient Egyptian times, when they were frequently represented in amulets and works of art.

In fact, it is said that dung beetles were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. These beetles were linked to Egyptian Gods, especially Khepri, the morning sun, who was depicted as a man with the head of a Scarab Beetle.

In 10X’s video, a Scarab Beetle is seen struggling to move a ball of dung many times largely than himself, ignoring the potential distraction of another, apparently freeloading, beetle who is along for the ride.

Though he must do his work in reverse, the beetle keeps his “eyes on the prize”, which is to get that ball into a burrow. A female will then lay her eggs in the ball, which will provide sustenance and shelter for the larva when they hatch.

The determined beetle pushing a large ball of dung along is making an investment that will yield an outsized return. (Human parents can only dream of making one investment before the children are born that will provide them with shelter and sustenance until they leave the nest.)

Not only is the beetle’s selected vehicle ideally matched to the goal (feeding and housing the offspring), the Scarab can be recommended for overcoming setbacks along the way, as is shown in the video.

https://youtu.be/5QW5_otn_78

Humans should also try to select the ideal vehicle for particular needs and goals. Aligning your savings goal, the timeline of the investment, your personal appetite for risk and other specific factors with the investment product you choose gives a big advantage from the get-go. However, in investing – as in nature – determination and discipline to stay the course, especially after a setback – as Covid19 has been for many – are often the toughest parts of the game.

10X is encouraging South Africans to take inspiration from nature, where animals seem to bounce back from setbacks, starting again with apparently undiminished tenacity, over and over. In this video, which is narrated by comedian Dalin Oliver, the Scarab Beetle shows how even the smallest of beasts can take apparently insurmountable odds in its stride.

It would be easy to imagine that these beetles, who spend their time moving dung around, are not very smart. But consider that one type of dung beetle is able to navigate using the Milky Way; another is said to use the Moon to find its way.

So whether you are trying to work your way out of debt, save for a car, or set yourself up for a well-funded retirement, learn from the beetle. Set your sites on an ambitious but reachable target and be determined and disciplined in chasing it.

View the full set of wildlife videos, narrated by South African comedians KG Mokgadi, Angel Campey, Dalin Oliver, Rob van Vuuren, Louw Venter and Faniswa Yisa here.

ENDS

The content herein is provided as general information. It is not intended as nor does it constitute financial, tax, legal, investment, or other advice. 10X Investments is an authorised FSP (number 28250). 10X Index Fund Managers (RF) (Pty) Ltd is a Manager registered under the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act, 2002.

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