Wealth Management

Voted #6 on Top 100 Family Business influencer on Wealth, Legacy, Finance and Investments: Jacoline Loewen LinkedIn Profile

April 7, 2018

What do golf and investing have in common?

What do golf and investing have to do with each other? To start, a good golfer needs to be patient, make solid strategic decisions and be able to focus on long-term goals. Seems pretty in line with what it takes to be a successful investor. When it comes to actually playing a good game of golf, there are a number of other similarities. I "tee up" five of them here:

1. There's more than one way to succeed

Brooke Henderson chokes up a few centimeters or two on an extra-long driver to rank in the top 20 in driving distance on the LPGA tour. Jim Furyk has won nearly $68 million in his career using a swing that golf analyst David Feherty famously described as resembling "an octopus falling out of a tree." Good golfers come in all sizes and shapes.
With investing, you can go heavy on stocks, bonds or foreign exchange, or have a portfolio that consists of several asset classes. While a mix of assets can offer some level of protection compared to an all-or-nothing-type strategy, there is no single right way to invest your money — it's all about knowing your own style and comfort zones.

2. Keeping your cool

It's easy to get upset and frustrated with a double or triple bogey. And responding by taking unnecessary risks will almost certainly compound your problems. The best way to deal with any golfing setback is to try to make a solid shot, followed by another solid shot. Before you know it, you're back on track.
Investing will definitely have its ups and downs. Think about the most recent market decline. Did you panic and sell off many of your investments? Or did you double down on previous investments because you were sure that the decline created bargains? Either response could be considered an overreaction. A calm and reasoned approach to your investments, always keeping an eye on your long game, is generally considered the best way to proceed.

3. Past performance doesn't predict future performance

You'd be hard-pressed to find a golfer who doesn't agree with this one. One good round doesn't make you a golf pro and one bad round doesn't mean you should give up the game.
Same with investing. It's best not to become too confident just because of some winning investments, but don't become gun-shy if you have a couple of losers. Research is the key to understanding your investment choices.

4. Process is crucial

When you're facing a crucial situation in golf, one of the worst things you can do is tell yourself "I have to make a good shot now." That extra pressure can cause you to become tense, which can lead to a poor result. Focusing calmly on following your shot-making process can increase your chances of success greatly.
Likewise, when making an investment, it's not productive to say "I have to make money on this one." That is piling on the pressure! Instead, a disciplined process – careful research and thoughtful analysis — can help with reasoned investment decisions. If your process is sound, there's a better chance your investments will be sound as well.

5. Learn from the experts

Charity Golf and Jacoline Loewen
How many times have people in your foursome offered advice on your golf game? People are generally well-intentioned, but just because something works for someone else doesn't mean it's right for you.
The same goes for those dinner parties where friendly stock tips pile up from people who just happen to know someone who knows someone. Investment advice that seems too good to be true often is. I often hear clients say I got this tip from this wealthy person and I want to invest into that stock. Do a bit more of a deep dive before getting off track from your investment strategy.
Follow me on Twitter @jacolineloewen
My books can be found on Amazon: amazon.com/author/loewen
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