Three things jogging can teach you about stock investing

Today I got to thinking about how much running training and investing in shares have in common.

Actually, running is super simple. You just have to put one foot in front of the other. It’s an effective form of exercise, and you can probably add a decade to your life if you make regular running a habit.

But why is it that so few people put on their running shoes? Why do some start with eagerness and end up with injuries and giving up? It is due to a kind of eagerness, impatience and lack of strategy and a good plan.

Running really has a lot in common with investing.

Here are three of the things that I’ve learned from running – and that I think you can transfer to investments:

1. Just run for one minute in the beginning

The first mistake many runners make is wanting too much too fast.

When planning your startup, be careful at the beginning. Put too many kilometres in your first few weeks and you’ll end up with an injury and drop out of running again.

When I’ve had to start up again after injury or pregnancy, I’ve followed The New York Roadrunner’s running plan, where in the first week you just run for one minute at a time with a two-minute break. Next week you can then run for two minutes at a time with a one-minute break in between.

A minute. That’s all you have to run in the beginning.

Some beginners eagerly jump into half an hour of non-stop running on their first trip and come back with their hearts in their throats and their knees aching.

The lesson: You have to start small. One minute at a time. Without overexerting yourself. The same applies to shares. You should start small until you have more experience and feel comfortable. I call it dipping your toe in the stock. You simply buy shares for USD 1,000 the first time – or even less if USD 1,000 feels like too big a rate.

2. Set out at a leisurely pace

It may also be that you start with too fast a pace in a specific competitive race and have to stop halfway due to pain in the knee or a cramp in the leg.

It is so important to start calm and moderate.

I’ve run a marathon before, and it took a lot of self-discipline to take it easy because at the beginning you’re hyper and want to be at the head of the pack. But it is those who start calmly and reach the finish line.

It is always like that.

Lesson: The same applies to shares. You should go for a reasonable return – not something that sounds too fantastic. Those investors who think they are just going to double their wealth in a few months end up burning themselves on meme shares, crypto and other “stuff” – and maybe even on borrowed money. Instead, go for a stable annual return of 10-15 per cent.

3. Compound interest is pure magic

We talk a lot about compound interest. Einstein has called it the 8th wonder of the world. But why that?

Until you really see a concrete example of what it means, you probably don’t understand how amazing it really is. The first time I opened my eyes to compound interest was actually in my running training.

In exercise running, there is a basic rule that you must not increase the number of weekly kilometres by more than 10 per cent. per week.

When you’re training for a big race, at first it feels like you’re not running at all and getting nowhere.

It feels like you will NEVER run a marathon. You want to get up and run 30 km. on a single run and run 5 times a week.

It feels like walking on too short a leash to only run five km. at a time.

But just look at what happens over time if you invest 10 per cent every week. to.

Let’s say you set out to run 30 km. spread over the week. It is approx. where I build from. It is about 5 km. five times a week.

For the first several weeks, you only cover 3-4 km. per week.

Week 1: 30 km. Week 2: 33 km. Week 3: 36 and week 4: 40 etc.

Already in week 9, you add seven kilometres to 64 to 71 km.

In week 20, you add over 20 kilometres per week. Well, hallelujah. After all, that’s almost more than you started with being able to run per week. You go from 202 to 222 km. in a week.

Every time I start new running training, it amazes me how slow it feels in the beginning – and how wild the development is after 4-5 months.

Lesson: That’s the magic of compound interest. It will feel slow at first – but with a steady pace and steady returns, it will really pick up after some time. It’s the snowball effect. The most important thing is not to lose money and be put behind – which of course in the world of running training would be equivalent to getting an injury and having to start all over again.

Have a running plan and coach

It’s fine to run five km. a few times a week alone. I have done this for long periods and it is solid exercise. But if you want to improve your performance, you need to have a plan for how you want to train for your race.

It pays to invest in a few running books, go to team runs and maybe even hire a coach.

The most important thing is that you get the knowledge that you need so that you don’t make mistakes and get running injuries, e.g. putting too many km. on too quickly.

The same in investment. Knowledge makes you a better investor. Choose a strategy, make a plan and follow it – and get help.

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