Going Swimmingly

Michael Phelps’ performance was amazing. The Olympian overcame a childhood fear of the water and the scorn of adolescent peers to win more gold medals than any person in history.

Often in investing we have to confront our fears and do what is unpopular. In fact, what’s ultimately most profitable rarely feels comfortable at the time. And what’s comfortable rarely ends up profitable. It’s like our brains are wired for failure.

This is part of the reason investing is so hard. Many adaptive instincts and feelings we get are a great help to us as we perform essential tasks. For example, our innate ability to recognize and extrapolate patterns is an essential language-learning skill. But it often leads us to see “pictures in the clouds” when we look at stock price behavior.

Some researchers recently noted that Michael Phelps’ victorious fist-pumping is another innate behavior. By taking uncomfortable, unpopular investment positions, we can all hope earn the right to express ourselves in the same fashion.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By | 2017-07-17T12:35:25+00:00 August 20th, 2008|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. –
Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all!
– And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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