Golf is hard! A key investing lesson

One of the most important investing lessons – golf is hard!

As we approach the glorious first major of the year, I am reminded of the thing I heard again and again when I was first learning to swing.

Among the slices, cuts, duck hooks, pulls, flat out duffs and occasional shanks, the most encouraging words I ever heard to keep the mind positive and practice going were “golf is hard”.

 (“You’re not Faldo” was the other thing I heard a lot as I tried to perfect that little knee dip trigger to pull the club back. Less encouraging to be sure, but taking inspiration from the greats, watching how they grind every day to get better and learning their lessons is key to success until you’ve learned how to play your own way.)

Let’s see how many more golfing metaphors I can now apply to investing. Here we go.

1. You can’t just pick up a club and start nailing bombs down the centre cut a la McIlroy. Just like investing. Don’t be fooled by anyone telling you investing isn’t hard. It takes years of actual practice, learning how to hit different types of shots from all kinds of lies.

2. Learning what to do when you hit one in the rough is also key. Get the ball back in play. Don’t go deeper into the dark woods hoping to pull off the miracle shot.

3. Even the pros aren’t immune from the occasional shank. It’s part of the game. But you need to find the ball, play it from where it lies and still make the best score possible.

4. It’s not easy. Investing is like golf. Investing is hard.

But the reward of that feeling when one soars through the sky and lands exactly where you’re aiming for…. Worth all the work.