The Olympics of Investing

My living room has been turned into an Olympic obstacle course with pillows balanced on chairs and blankets thrown over them. Running, jumping and throwing things. My little ones have been more active than usual inspired by the Olympics.

It’s brutal watching the actual athletes compete. You feel happy for the euphoric winners but you feel so sorry for the “losers”.

There is only one gold, one silver and one bronze…. Everyone else is an also ran. The running ability of the person who comes last in the 100m race is so VASTLY superior to any athletic ability I have, yet you will never hear their name or how much they trained and gave of their minds and bodies.

It’s our human tendency to want to reach for the best. We are a race where winner takes all –only one person gets the job, only one girl gets to marry Prince William Charming. In nature there is only one leader of the pack and for eons the course of civilization has been changed by bloody battles where the winning side enslaved the losing side.

We are programmed to reach for the gold and this extends to our investing lives.

The problem with investments is that it is very hard to find the gold medal or the gold medal fund that will help you achieve your goals.

What if instead we went against our human nature and instead of beating ourselves up trying to achieve the gold medal in investing, we settled for “good enough investing”?

I was obsessed with the Olympics as an 8 year old having been taken to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. I dreamt of being on a bike or swimming to victory. Those dreams died shortly after when I moved back to India and was confronted by the all consuming exam system there.

30 years later my fitness consists of walking Sterling the hound, a Pilates class and a session with my trainer once a week. Am I at Olympic level? No. Is this good enough for maintaining my health and hopefully keeping me fit into old age. More than good enough!

What’s your “good enough” investing strategy? Is it outsourcing to a trusted wealth manager? Is it buying simple passive indexes like Warren Buffett recommends? Is it finding a few fund managers you trust and give them discretion to make decisions for you?

Instead of aiming to be the next Warren Buffett or finding the next Google as an investment maybe for us mere mortals a “good enough investing” strategy makes the most sense.

Best,

Mallika