Using Golf as a Metaphor to Understand Investing

Does the game of golf have a lot of similarities with investing? Let’s start with golf. It’s incredibly satisfying when you have a day of golf where every aspect of your game comes together perfectly. You feel as if you have conquered the course. And then the very next time you play nothing goes right, frustration builds, and you wind up tossing your putter in the pond.

When dealing with the financial markets, you may find yourself experiencing the same emotions. You have times where everything you touch turns to gold, and others where nothing is working out. The metaphor is appropriate, because both investing and golfing depend on a large number of variables aligning to achieve complete success, and that doesn’t happen very often.

Another parallel is demonstrated in terms of understanding the goal of the two activities. To advance in golf, you focus on the long game and improving your overall game over time. Managing investments is also not a short game. It doesn’t matter if the stock you’re holding showed a profit at one point in time, what counts is the financial goal.


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Setting up your tee shot

Both golf and investing can be humbling at times because success may be short-lived. An excellent performance today doesn’t provide any guarantees for tomorrow. Aligning the fundamental, technical and psychological forces driving the market all at the same moment is nearly impossible. The same can be said about playing a perfect game from the initial swing to the 18th hole.

When evaluating your success, focusing on long term goals rather than daily fluctuations is imperative. It’s not about the small victories or gains along the way, it’s about where you land in the end.

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Having the confidence needed in the short game

Reaching your financial goals requires patience and perseverance. Golfers need to show the same resilience. Just as they get one part of their game in sync, such as hitting the ball off the tee and landing it close to the hole, they develop a hitch in their putting game. What do you do to fix the problem? Hire a coach who will observe and analyze all areas of your game, then customizes a plan to reach your goals.

To continue using investing metaphors, your golf coach is like a financial advisor. When you work with an investment management firm, you have the services of a coach and a caddy. They advise on the best way to invest and grow your wealth, as well as review and update your portfolio accordingly along the way. As fiduciary financial advisors , our job is to help you protect, manage and grow your assets. It’s important to choose your advisor wisely because investors rarely get a mulligan.

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