Where Do You Put ‘The Tired?’

2:01:39

That’s the new world record time for the marathon set by distance phenom Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin this fall. 

If you’re wondering how your mile pace matches up, Kipchoge’s average pace was 4 minutes 38 seconds per mile.

Blazing. 

Kipchoge might be the top human on earth who’s in the best shape to run a marathon.

Or he might not be.

There’s a lot of elite runners across the globe who train every day to climb atop the podium. It’s possible that someone else out there has better leg strength, oxygen capacity, and stamina. But in a 26.2-mile race, even the strongest runners grow tired – the lungs start to burn and the mind begs to quit. Everyone feels it. 

Kipchoge is just the best in the world at where he “puts the tired.”

***

As I write this the Dow Jones has fallen another 500 points and is down 12% from its recent high point. 1980 was the last time US stocks got off to such a bad start in December. If you recall, October wasn’t much of a fun month this year – neither was February. 

The news only wants to talk about the impending bear market and how every global event (Fed raising interest rates, China-US relations, a Brexit revote?) happening now brings the impending drop closer and closer. Emails have begun to trickle in asking for advice on adjustments to portfolios. 

Sometimes investing makes you want to quit running the race and take a breather or more accurately – makes you want to throw up

So what do you do? Do you press and change up your portfolio to bring it back to positive territory or make a dash to cash? Do you stay glued to the television for a sign from market experts that things will be OK or things are going down so you can take action? 

OR

Do you re-read the agreement you made with yourself or with your advisor on how you were going to behave no matter what goes on? 

Do you turn off frequent market updates?

Do you surrender your obsession with certainty and trying to get it 100% right, and instead focus on avoiding blatant mistakes?

Do you remind yourself that preparation is better than prediction? That as Ben Carlson writes, someone saying – ‘Here’s exactly what’s going to happen when the market opens tomorrow’ isn’t close to as important as you reminding yourself – ‘Here’s exactly what my investment plan says I should do regardless of what happens in the market tomorrow.’ 

Do you stop listening to market pundits spout off – reminding yourself that fear sells and that financial news isn’t about giving you good information – it’s about making money? The more fear, the more eyeballs, the more advertising dollars. 

Do you come to terms with the fact that the market will crash a couple of times during your investing career and have built a portfolio to keep you sane during the fall and still capture the ensuing market rise?

***

I’m sure around mile 17 as his body begins to really ache, Kipchoge would like to stop and rest. But he finds a place to put the tired that allows him to run world record-setting times.

It’s natural when losses start piling up in a portfolio to want to find someplace to hide. You can move to something conservative to make the pain go away, or you can find a place to put the tired that doesn’t compromise your long-term results. 

Now here’s what I’m reading/listening to:

Why pro athletes may lose a fortune due to the new tax law (Market Watch)
GPA doesn’t equal career success (NY Times)
Writing for yourself is underappreciated (Collaborative Fund)
You don’t need fancy equipment to work out (Ross Training)
2019 Forecasts will be wrong or worse (Bloomberg)

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