If you are like me, you’ve been on numerous diets. South Beach, Keto, Atkins, the “do it all in moderation and workout diet”, etc. Always searching for that “quick fix” to drop weight the easy way. The reality is like everything in life, there is no quick fix. Good things require time, patience, discipline, and sacrifice. A lot of it. Those of you who know me well are aware that I enjoy consuming food at an above-average level. As my mother says, it’s a struggle to have overactive taste buds. I live to eat, not eat to live.
As I thought about my last few years struggling to get back in shape, it made me think of my emotional rollercoaster. Weight-loss requires the same principles of a diligent long-term investor. Time and Patience. Staying committed and trusting the process. Avoiding the emotions of the day to day swings. Ignoring the noise. Doing a little bit every day, knowing that there is a compounding effect in the long-term. Cutting weight the right way is a behavioral approach just like a strong investor achieving the highest stock returns over time.
How many times have you “started a diet” only to get frustrated after not seeing the scale move? The noise in the short-term weight loss prevention is sodium intake, water retention, heavier meals, a less intense workout, stress, or lack of sleep. You know you did everything right and counted every calorie, had a great workout and you still weighed more the next morning! At the end of the day, weight loss is strictly caloric deficit. All these diets work, providing you take in fewer calories than you expend, AND stay committed for a long time.
If we compare this to our personal finances and investment portfolios, taking small steps every day over the long-term will ensure massive success. Operating at a monthly surplus (caloric deficit), dollar-cost-averaging into the stock market with each paycheck (routinely working out), and not allowing the media or friends to cause emotional selling (the scale making us cry).
As a financial planner and professional investor, I never have any issues controlling my emotions with the stock market, BUT if you look at the chart below over the last 2 years, clearly, I am an emotional dieter. I hope to show the progress of this in the future steadily trending down in a consistent and healthy manner as opposed to those crazy swings of “quick fixes”.
- Stay the course – Career goals, life goals, stock investing, weight-loss, muscle building, or education
- Ignore the noise – Don’t try and keep up with the jones’s, ignore the media, ignore the scale, don’t stress over your grades if you’re learning
- Make progress every day – Save somewhere, generate positive business activity, hit the weights in a small way, read a little
- Trust the process – Be optimistic, build a plan and stay true to it, trust your hired professionals
Stay tuned for more life parallels. Don’t hesitate to reach out if your behavior and your finances are not aligned.
*Athanassios Panagiotakopoulos is an Investment Advisor Representative with Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba Life Managed. All investment advisory services are offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors.