If you watched the 2021 Masters tournament there were some interesting lessons learned that can be applied to other areas of life—such as investing. Hideki Matsuyama’s victory was a master class in not beating yourself. Jack Nicklaus once said that he won many of his major events starting a few strokes behind in the final round and letting the leaders falter and come back to him. He accomplished this by sticking to his plan and eliminating big numbers. Matsuyama actually had a four-shot lead when he teed off on Sunday but had a rocky start, bogeying the first hole. That caused his lead to shrink to one stroke after the second hole. He was able to get back on track quickly but had players breathing down his neck the rest of the day.
Remember What Got You Here
Every professional golfer has their own swing which makes them unique. But whether we’re talking about Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk or Bryson DeChambeau they all have a few things in common. Each of these players relies on a set of fundamentals to play their best. From time to time one of these areas may be off and require some tweaking. Like a financial plan that gets slightly off track, it’s just a matter of identifying the problem and making the adjustment.
Find a Good Coach
What’s apparent when you watch the pros warm up before a round is that they rely on a team that supports them. This team often includes a swing coach. This is someone who helps identify problems and opportunities for adjustments along the way. In a similar way, even investors who feel they are “in the zone” can benefit from an experienced financial advisor who can help them maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses, identify long-term goals and develop a plan to help them reach those goals.
Bad Things Happen
Even the top tour pros will tell you that playing great golf isn’t about hitting perfect shots every time, it’s about managing your misses and being able to focus on the next shot. The best players put a plan in place before every round that considers things like course conditions, pin positions and wind direction. In the same way investors working toward a financial outcome shouldn’t should be surprised when they sometimes lose value.
Volatility and down cycles are things you can count on with investments. The key is to carefully assess these situations and make rational adjustments when necessary.