Sunday, February 12, 2017

Football and Investing

There are some similarities in football and investing with a few exceptions. Being a Pats fan, I was motivated by the impossible and greatest comeback of the Patriots in Super Bowl LI to write this article. Hence I use Brady/Belichick as an example as often as possible.


He is the greatest chess player. In most of his talks after a win, he always shows he is the ‘loser’ in his monotone voice. He moves his facial muscles to a minimum. Politely speaking, he is boring. Do you want a boring coach who gives results? I sincerely like his boredom. I prefer him over the well-presentable x-CEO of Pennies or the best-seller written by a Ph.D. telling us to exit the market in 2009 (I am not 100% sure as I do not have his original edition).

Belichick and Brady’s philosophy

It is quite simple and most are applicable to investing and actually to most we do in life.

·         * The coaches and players have to love football. 
·        * Work hard.
·         * Evaluate all possibilities and prepare for them. Study the matchups.

In investing, select the stocks that have the highest appreciation potential at acceptable risk in the current market conditions. To illustrate, select high-dividend stocks when interest rate is low or defensive stocks in risky markets.
·     * Understand the opposing coaches will work on your last hero; use the last hero as a decoy if possible.
·         * Eat humble pies; do not motivate your opponent team.
·         * Concentrate on your next game (next stock to trade in investing).
·     * Multiple skills. If you say you play one position only, you do not fit into their system. Investing requires multi disciplines from evaluating, psychology to simple computer skills.
·         * Draft the best players at reasonable prices. Brady is a sixth round pick. In investing, buy low and sell high.
·         * The Pats never spend a lot on one or two players. In investing, we do not put all eggs in one basket.
·      m* Trade the player who does not fit in with the team. In investing, trade stocks to improve the portfolio.
·       * Prefer players with potentials, not what they have accomplished. It is similar to trading value stocks.
·     * A successful person does not depend on luck although luck has something to do with this Super Bowl win to me. From the last two SB wins, I believe God is a fan of Pats.
·     * Take advantage of the misfits and their bad decisions. In the last quarter, Falcons could win easily by running with the ball. In the second half Falcons' defense had to be tired and one-on-one coverage would be ineffective. In investing, it is the contrary investing to institution investors but ensure they are really making errors.
·         * Never give up. When you had 25 points to make up against a worthy opponent, do not give up.

It is a little exception in investing: Sometimes we have to give up bad stocks due to our original bad evaluations or the fundamentals change.
·         * Brady and most successful quarterbacks throw the ball to the open receiver consistently, not always to the star receiver. In investing, it is called diversification.
·        * Adjust your strategy. Being a Monday quarterback, I would like the Pats to adjust the strategy in the start of the second quarter.

In investing, no strategy is evergreen and no metric such as P/E always works. Only use the ones that work recently – adaptive investing in my term.
* Football is a team work. Everyone in the team contributes. No one including Brady cannot be replaced. Hightower and White (a reserve) contributed a lot for the amazing comeback. In investing, do not depend on your own research only but check out other researches from reliable sources. 

The above will be included in my book "Complete the Art of Investing" which is available from
The Kindle has 850 pages (6*9) for $9.99. It could be the best $10 you ever spend. Paperback (650 pages plus articles accessible from the web) is also available.

If the above two pages can help you in investing, envision how 850 pages can help you.

I challenged to have the best-performed article in Seeking Alpha history, an investing site, for recommending 5 or more stocks in one year after the publish date. The concepts for that article are discussed in this book.


  1. Tony: If I were Bill B. I'd hire you as my chief assistant coach! KK

    1. I would like to be the equipment manager and Brady's jersey could net half a million dollar.

  2. Great stuff Mr. Pow. As a HS football coach, I see the similarities between investing and football. I have been self-investing for 25 years and things are working out very well.
    Thank you for the link!