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Don't Grip Too Tightly

May 20, 2024

I grew up golfing, a sport that taught me the value of balance. In high school, I worked on a golf course, and in college, I worked for Golfsmith. Golf is a unique sport that demands a delicate equilibrium between mind, body, and spirit. If any one of these elements is disrupted, the results can be unfavorable. This principle of balance is equally crucial in the realm of financial management.  

Most people agree that a good golf swing is a fluid, natural-looking motion.  The pros make it look so easy that it leads most beginners to think, "How hard could it be?" As those beginners find out, it's hard, very hard. A good instructor will first teach you how to grip a club.  It is awkward initially, but the real challenge is managing the tension between being relaxed and firmly in control.  Most golfers hold the grip with way too much force.  The hands set the tone for your body and mind; if your hands are tight, your body will be tight.  If your body is too tight, you cannot leverage the natural torque and muscle movement needed to create a consistent and fluid swing.  That physical posture signals your mental posture, and the goal is to stand above the ball in such a way that it is in harmony with the ball and oneself while also projecting confidence that the next ten seconds will be as the mind envisions.  Of course, not every shot goes according to plan, but that is why there are so many holes and opportunities to try again.  

The disposition of a skilled golfer is a great example of how investors should view their money.  Most investors hold onto their money tightly, like a beginner on a golf course.  This clinging triggers a tightening of your muscles and stress through the body.  Stress often is the result of the weight of expectation.  As my dad would tell me, 'You're not playing against me; you're playing against the course and yourself.' The self-control that arises from realizing your ultimate competition is yourself is the kind of calm that allows a person to be arrested on the way to play in a major championship and still make it back to the course just in time to shoot a five-under-round. This same self-control can guide your financial decisions, empowering you to make good choices.  

Another noteworthy fact about professional golfers is that they all have coaches.  Once you are at peace with your game, you must have a coach to lead, guide, and point out areas of improvement for your progress.  Investors need that external help, too.  Once you are ready to embrace the grip, hire the coach who can help give you a chance to win and realize your potential.  We would welcome the opportunity to discuss what that relationship could look like at Greenwing Wealth Management, and we look forward to speaking with you!