During the Olympics CNBC is tracking the stock market in the morning and curling in the afternoon. Which is more useful for investors? At times, it might be curling. In fact, investors can learn a lot from watching the Olympics. For example:
First, Olympians don't let setbacks derail them. Every athlete has setbacks … bad performances, injuries and poor decisions. The best athletes don't dwell on what could have been. They look forward, learn from their mistakes and are motivated because of them. Investors, too, shouldn't dwell on what they should have done and missed opportunities. You can't undo time. Look forward with a positive attitude and positive results will follow.
Athletes are disciplined. They know what techniques work and they stick with them. Instead of just performing their sport, they constantly perform drills and spend time in the gym. The best investors are also disciplined. They stick with their approach rather than buying securities based on conversations with friends or what someone said on CNBC.
Strive for consistency instead of looking for the thrill of victory. When you trade options, hold penny stocks, or buy the strongest growth stocks you often experience the "thrill of victory" and all too often the "agony of defeat." That's OK for a small "fun" portion of your portfolio, but the majority of your investments should be in more stable, even boring investments. When you own industry leading high-quality stocks that pay and usually raise dividends, your long-term goals will be met and the next bull market will make up for bad timing.
Athletes also are passionate about what they do. The best athletes love their sport and would participate in it even if there were no competitions. The best investors, too, are passionate about the markets. They read, research and consistently follow the markets. Investing is a challenge (and how!). By the way, it's also great fun.
Enjoy the Olympics. The games are fun to watch and may even be able to help your investment portfolio. Go Team USA!
David Vomund is an Incline Village-based fee-only money manager. Information is found at http://www.VomundInvestments.com or by calling 775-832-8555. Clients hold the positions mentioned in this article. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial advisor before purchasing any security.