Arnie or Vito?

The biggest surprise in running Four Minute Investing has been finding out that so many of my peer group who work in finance, find it difficult to make decisions about their own personal investments.

When I started running this blog, I assumed that mostly people outside finance would follow it, because those of us “inside” already had access to all the information we needed. I’ve ended up with the majority of my readers coming from my own investing networks!

It turns out that having access to all the market data in the world, is brilliant as an investment professional. There is still however something missing when you get home to your own portfolio.

What’s the difference between the professional at work and the same person as amateur investor at home. As a professional you have an identity of competence you have to comply with. You have the suit on, a business card, a nice office and website. 

At home the very same person has no mask or role when it comes to investing. It’s just themselves against the markets. I follow Todd Herman, the productivity guru’s work. He teaches this powerful concept of taking on an alter ego to improve your ability to move projects forward in life. By tapping into the sixth sense of your imagination and channeling the personality traits of your heroes, you set yourself up to act as they do. 

The following are two alter egos I think would be useful to investors. 

Alter Ego Option 1

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator is the ultimate get it done guy. He arrives and blows everything to shreds. He is fearless, fast and furious. He acts quickly and decisively. He keeps and eye on everything that’s happening and maintains his energy and courage. He dominates by having higher weapon power than his rivals.


In investing this would translate to having the best data that you can make decisions on quickly and being on top of the markets like the best traders.

Alter Ego Option 2

Vito the head of the Corleone family in The Godfather dominates by taking a very different approach to that of Arnie. He is the puppet master, slow and deliberate in his moves. He is silent in his intentions and outsources all his dirty work. He has relationships up and down the food chain, all the way from senators to pickpockets. He fearlessly diversifies into new business areas to keep his empire growing.


In investing the Vito character is the one who slowly makes decisions based on deliberate analysis, and outsources most of his execution instead of getting lost in the weeds. They would have friends and research coming to them from many areas in the market and bravely diversify when they spot opportunity. This reminds me of some of the great value investors I’ve met.

I invite you dear reader to take a few seconds to think about what alter ego you might want to adopt when it comes to sitting down with your own finances.

So do I have an alter ego you ask? Neither Arnie nor Vito really resonate with me.

My investing alter ego is more like this magnificent bird that has strong legs and can run real fast. If you want to take a look, click here.