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What Investors Can Learn from Athletes

Posted March 4, 2024

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Nick Saban, recently retired football coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide said, “If you want to be good you don’t really have a lot of choices.” He was referring to the choice to either be disciplined or not to a specific process that would lead to success.

No one is born an athlete. We are all human with similar preferences: sleep/rest over working out, eating a donut rather than broccoli, and having fun instead of working.

Athletes are created through dedication to a routine or process that will help them become athletes. They show up at the gym, follow a nutrition plan, and endure their routines even when they don’t feel like it or want to. Persistent discipline in that routine is what makes them an athlete.

A Solid Investment Process

The “secret” to becoming a great investor is no different. It requires a discipline to a process or routine. Not just any routine, but the right one. Watching the stock market is a routine, but it doesn’t develop a successful investor. So, what routines or processes can investors take that will help them become great?

  1. Ignore Economic and Market Predictions. Our desire for future certainty puts us at risk of falling for the illusion of certainty – which is the only certainty the experts offer.   
  2. Focus on Fundamentals, Not Price Movement. Daily stock price movements seldom represent the real value of the company at any given time. Earnings and cash flow deserve your attention, not the price movement of the stock.
  3. Have a Reaction Plan. A reaction plan is a process of what you will do when the inevitable surprising events occur. Will you respond immediately? Will you take your cues from the media? Will you talk it over with me? I suggest the latter.

The Process and You

Defining your investment process is important but practiced by many investors. Maintaining discipline to that process when times get tough? That is what separates the average investor from the most successful investors. Discipline is what makes athletes, athletes. And it is what can help you achieve your financial goals. I am here to help you along the way.

© The Behavioral Finance Network


Thayer Financial, L.L.C. (“Thayer Financial”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the States of North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This website’s presence on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Thayer Financial in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or according to an applicable state exemption.

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