Discipline in Life and Trading

I’ve been pretty active all of my life, and, over the past four years, I’ve been working out an average of five times a week. I’m kind of slow and not all that strong, but I have fun and my doctor tells me I’m fit!

As a teenager in high school, I played various sports because I enjoyed them, not because I was particularly great at any single one of them.

But when school ends, we all grow – some more reluctantly than others! – into our adult lives with kids, work, and responsibilities. Life happens, and we sometimes forget to take the time to take care of ourselves. I sure did. And that was despite having three very athletic kids who I’d haul to various practices and games. Two of my kids even competed at the collegiate level.

After my youngest left for college, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and too many pounds around my midsection.

I tried running, but in Florida’s summer heat, I lost interest quickly.

I joined a gym, but I spent half my time trying to figure out what to do.

Then I bought an exercise DVD with a different workout every day for six days. I finally hit on something here: someone telling me what to do and how to do it. It was fun, and it worked! After six months, I lost 30 pounds, and I felt great!

I was working out of our offices in South Florida when I established my regimen, but, about six months later,  I moved back to Tampa. Unfortunately, I didn’t have room in my Tampa house for a DVD workout, so I had to figure out a new plan.

That’s when I discovered CrossFit. If you’ve never heard of it, CrossFit was bornrn way back in 2000 (it feels weird to think of 2000 as “way back”), so it wasn’t as if I found some unheralded fitness secret. But the world then, as it is now, was saturated with fitness and diet “secrets” and “hacks.” CrossFit was, in a way, hiding in plain sight for me, amongst all the options out there.

CrossFit combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio into an intensive workout. It’s a group workout led by a coach who’s making sure you don’t get hurt. While every workout has the feel of a competition, you’re really competing against yourself.

I was hooked! But it’s not for everyone, and I’m not telling you this for any other reason except that everyone should find something that they enjoy to help keep them physically active.

It doesn’t matter if you want to take a walk with your dog, jog, swim, lift weights… whatever. Just do something you enjoy to get your heart beating and your blood flowing.

According to Jocko Willink, a retired Navy Seal commander and the best-selling author of Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, exercise gets your body and your mind in the game.

Willink gets up at 4:30 a.m. and works out. He’s in the habit of waking up and executing a plan he made the night before. He says it’s a mistake to wake up and start thinking about what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to do it.

Willink makes his to-do list the night before. He lays out his workout clothes. He knows what he’s going to do. When his alarm goes off, he gets up and executes his plan.

His idea is that by developing and sticking to tested procedures and guidelines, you’re free to focus on the task at hand and less likely to be distracted by the process. And that prepares you to adapt to the unexpected.

Willink’s great insights on preparing the mind and the body translates into sound advice for investing as well.

As far as investing goes, sticking to tested procedures and guidelines is the only way to succeed. It doesn’t matter if you have your own sure-fire way to beat the markets or if you follow a guru’s strategy.

The only way to make money in the markets is to have a tested plan and follow it.

Here at Dent Research, our editors have at least one thing in common:  We have rigorously tested our strategies, and we follow our plans without fail.

I’ve had success developing numerous strategies over the years, and, simply put, there isn’t just one plan that works well – there are many. The key to success is executing the plan. Failure usually comes quickly when you second-guess yourself and aren’t disciplined in following your system’s rules.

If you’re familiar with my Treasury Profits Accelerator service, you’ll know that my plan leverages investor overreactions in the Treasury bond market to profit.

Just last week, Adam wrote about the importance of a detailed financial plan in a 10X Profits piece headlined Written Plans Are Invaluable.

And John Del Vecchio, our in-house forensic accountant, continually analyzes companies to find potentially big profits that are right in front of our noses, but, for whatever reason, we just don’t notice. If he’s got his eye on something, chances are it’s worth looking into.

In fact, next Tuesday he’s going to be doing a special video broadcast that highlights several new profit opportunities that he says are essentially “hidden in plain sight” right before our eyes.

It’s free to attend his special presentation and I’m pretty eager myself to find out what these overlooked stocks actually are. Knowing John, you won’t want to miss it either. You can register to attend his free live event right here.

My overall point is this: We each have our own proven methodology that you can scale to your comfort level and investment objectives.

Don’t make it difficult. Like Jocko Willink says, “Don’t think – just execute your plan.”

Good investing,

Lance Gaitan

Editor, Treasury Profits Accelerator