Performance Under Pressure

Tiger’s performance yesterday was inspiring.

The 32 year-old golf great was ahead, then behind, and when it mattered, he birdied the 18th hole to come up even and force a sudden death round, which he eventually won.

Tiger putted in front of thousands of cheering fans and millions of TV viewers to win the match. I’m not much of a golfer, but I know that it’s a game of inches and concentration. And when the stakes are high, nothing is more important than the fundamentals.

But Tiger really won that match in the years and months before, when he readied himself physically and mentally for the stress of world-class competition. The key to performance is preparation.

It’s not all that different from investing. Having a plan, and sticking to that plan–when market volatility and world-changing headlines are as distracting as roaring fans–is critical to reaching your investment goals. That plan should be based on fundamentals that don’t change with market jiggles: your income, your expenses, and your expectations.

Solid preparation is essential to perform in world class markets. That’s Tiger’s lesson for all of us.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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