For the love of running…and investing
At the start of this year, a friend asked me if I wanted to run a half marathon with him in April. I had not run one in 10 years, which were pre-kid days when I had more time on my hands. I decided to do it because it would be a good way to spend time with my friend, and I needed some accountability to have a consistent exercise routine. We started running 4 miles and have gone up 1 mile every other week.
After a few weeks of running, that had me thinking about the fundamental similarities between investing and running. Investing and running may seem like two completely different activities, but they have many similarities. Both require discipline, consistency, and a long-term approach. These principles don’t have to apply to running only but to starting/restarting any new (hopefully good) habit or kicking an old one.
The first step, much of the time, is the hardest. Why? Because we as humans are full of habits and routines. It can be hard to break old habits or start new ones. It takes anywhere from about 1 to 8 months to form a habit. For some, it’s mostly mental, more than physical. In my case, I know I can run a half marathon, or at least I still believed I could even if I had put on a few more pounds since I ran my last one ten years prior. So, for me, it was more mental than physical.
When it comes to investing your money or paying off debt, you get started by adding up your net income. Start by looking at your pay stub and multiply by the number of paychecks you receive yearly. Next, look at your expenses (this may take a little more work, but it is a good exercise if you have never done so or haven’t for several years). You also add any items you need to save cash for (car replacement, new roof, HVAC, etc.), dividing the total cost by the number of months you’ll need that cash (or your best idea). What’s left over is what you have to invest or pay off debt. If you don’t like where the number ends up, you can either find ways to make more money or find expenses that you can reduce.
Investing and running both require a significant amount of discipline. To succeed, you must commit to a plan and stick to it. Just like a runner needs to follow a training schedule, an investor needs to have an investment plan and stick to it through good times and bad. Both activities require dedication, focus, and the ability to keep going even when things get tough.
Consistency is another crucial factor in both investing and running. Consistency helps to establish good habits and ensures that you are making progress toward your goals. Just as a runner needs to be consistent in their training to improve their performance, an investor needs to be consistent while investing to build wealth over time.
Both investing and running require a long-term approach. A runner cannot expect to improve their performance overnight, and an investor cannot expect to become rich quickly. Both activities require patience and a focus on long-term goals. In both cases, success comes from consistent effort over a long period of time.
Running and investing both involve a degree of risk management. In running, you need to manage the risk of injury by ensuring you are properly warmed up, wearing the right shoes, and avoiding overtraining. Similarly, in investing, you need to manage the risk of losing money by diversifying your portfolio, avoiding risky investments, and having a well-defined exit strategy.
Focus on Performance
Finally, both running and investing requires a focus on performance. In running, you track your progress through metrics such as distance, time, and pace. In investing, you track your performance through metrics such as return on investment, portfolio diversification, and risk management. In both cases, monitoring performance helps you identify improvement areas and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Running and Investing to the finish line
In conclusion, investing and running may seem like two completely different activities, but they share many similarities. Both require steps to get started, discipline, consistency, and a long-term approach. Both involve a degree of risk management and a focus on performance. Ultimately, both activities require hard work, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. By recognizing these similarities, investors can apply the lessons from running to their investment strategy and vice versa.
If you feel like you are at the point where you can start to invest, or have questions about investing, contact one of our financial advisors today.
INVESTING AND OUR HABITS
March 16, 2023
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