Reflecting on the Closing Ceremony: What Investors Can Learn From Olympians
Training, as much as it may seem like it, is not the most difficult part of the job.
To follow the spectacle China staged at the completion of the 2008 Beijing Games would be a task not many would attempt -- except for Kim Gavin. Gavin, the director of last night's "party," is considered one of the most prominent "large scale" creative directors and choreographers in the UK. With over 10,000 Olympians represented, he used almost half of that number with the performers staffed (4,000) to celebrate the global athletes' collective efforts. Competitiveness, rivalry, opposition, effort, passion, harmony, enthusiasm, celebration, and hope -- the hope of what's to come -- are just a few of the emotions Gavin inspired during last night's closing ceremony.
My 13-year-old son Dellin asked, "Dad, why are you so passionate about watching the Olympics?" After a pause, the answer popped out as if it were preprogrammed:
If over 500,000 people across the globe can spend their entire "being" focused on becoming the best, whichever the sport, and of which, only 10,000 make it to the stage to exhibit their efforts to the world in a global competition every four years, it is not only pleasurable to witness such greatness, but an obligation as an individual to observe their drive toward perfection.
Investing, as much as it may not seem so at times, becomes rather trivial when one considers the truly "important stuff" in life. But investing has the ability to create similar emotional reactions as, let's say, fighting for your life. Instead of pondering the reason why this is true, we just have to recognize it is. As they say, "Recognition is the first step to improvement."
Not unlike Olympians, investors must train themselves to control their emotions. This training begins with the development of an underlying macro philosophy one has of the market. This philosophy leads to a better understanding of one's own risk tolerance. From there, investors can form an investment strategy and develop a set of suitable and sustainable investment rules (risk management). Lastly, but definitely not least, follow those rules. That's it -- now perfect it!
Training, as much as it may seem like it, is not the most difficult part; the biggest challenge is accurate self-assessment. This is even more burdensome since no one likes to admit that they're wrong. "It wasn't my fault, the market did so-and-so." But owning and learning from one's mistakes is a skill that -- if used, if understood, and if not discounted -- becomes the greatest tool an investor can have.
I hope this finds you well.
Editor's Note: Read more at Tesseract Asset Management.
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