Earlier this month, I took a two-week vacation to Moab, Utah. What’s in Moab? Dirt, rocks, and some of the best mountain biking in the world. What used to be a burned-out uranium town is now a world-class destination for people who enjoy the outdoors. Moab is the home of legendary trails such as Porcupine Ridge, Slickrock, and Bull Run.
We just keep going back....
After biking for twenty years, I learned a few things along the way.
- Where you focus is where you lean
- You are less likely to have an accident if you are well-balanced
- Everything is easier with momentum (except for making turns!)
- Over-steering is like micro-managing. It only slows you down.
- Keep your hands off the brakes, and let the hills do the work for you.
- Everyone learns faster when leadership is shared.
- Keep your eyes on the trail at least 20 feet ahead of you. More time to react.
- Switch gears before absolutely necessary.
- Everything is better with friends.
- The best views usually follow the longest climbs.
Some of these lessons have useful analogies for investing. As I get older, I’m beginning to learn the value of avoiding injury. Sometimes, winning means simply being able to hit the trails again the next day.
Investing (like staying fit) provides it's own rewards and sense of achievement. If you want to get better, the key is to push yourself just a little while still playing it safe. It's OK (and even fun) to take a few small risks. Just keep them survivable so that you can wake up tomorrow and do it again.
Work hard, have fun, be excellent - and enjoy Memorial Day weekend!
James H. Lee, CFA, CMT, CFP