Anyone else notice the fitness craze going on nowadays? It is everywhere you look anymore — CrossFit, P-90x, and all kinds of new fitness related television shows. As someone that enjoys fitness myself, I got to thinking, “Are fitness and investing similar?” The answer: ABSOLUTELY! Let’s look at a few ways that they are similar.
A successful investing/fitness regimen takes A Long-Term Approach.
No one gets into great shape overnight. Likewise, no one builds expansive wealth overnight. It takes a long-term approach. When working out, you need to stick to a weekly/monthly schedule to keep making incremental progress toward your fitness goals. You should treat your investing the same way. Make investing a monthly priority (some may benefit by treating it like a bill you pay each month). Normally, you can set up automatic contributions to grow your accounts. This is called dollar-cost averaging. Remember, no one gets off the couch one day and runs a marathon. It takes months and years of hard training. When investing, it is important to realize that you aren’t going to save $1 million dollars in a year. Start with an amount that fits your budget and keep to an “investing regimen”.
A successful investing/fitness regimen takes A Solid Plan.
An elite level fitness athlete does not “wing it”. They stick to a detailed plan. This plan can include daily workouts, meal plans, and even a dedicated sleep schedule. A solid investing regimen is also best executed with a solid plan. You should have an investment philosophy to stick to that identifies an asset mix that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. You should then review this plan periodically to track progress and make adjustments as needed.
A successful investing/fitness regimen takes Hard Work and Dedication.
If it was easy, everyone would do it. It’s tough! It takes discipline to keep working toward a goal and to stick with it. In fitness, it’s really easy to take a few days/weeks off and fall out of a routine. It gets difficult to get back in shape once you take the time off. Similarly with investing, it can be challenging to get back on track after taking time off, so it is important to stick with it! After all, compound interest can be your best workout partner. It’s not always easy to stick to your regimen as “life happens,” but sticking with it can be very rewarding.
A successful investing/fitness regimen takes A Good Coach.
Even the most successful fitness athletes have a coach. Why? We often have a hard time pointing out the things that we are doing wrong. Having someone to help us track our progress and keep us accountable is invaluable. In investing, it is important to work with an advisor to help you put a plan in place and to help you track and review your progress as your financial situation evolves. Working with an advisor can also help you to avoid common behavioral investing mistakes (i.e. timing the market, buying high and selling low, etc.).
Treat investing like you do your fitness regimen. Work hard, have a good coach that can help you create and implement a plan, and remember to keep a long-term view. You can build wealth, just stick with it!
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Dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities, regardless of the fluctuating price levels. Investors should consider their ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels or changing economic conditions. Such a plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.