Why investors must think and act like Clay Champ, Rafael Nadal

Why investors must think and act like Clay Champ Rafael Nadal 1 Why investors must think and act like Clay Champ, Rafael Nadal

It is said that records in sports are meant to be broken. That is true of most sports. Be it cricket, tennis or soccer; most records have been broken over a period of time. However, there are some records which are so unique that they look unlikely to be broken any time in the foreseeable future. The first record is that of Don Bradman’s test averages. With a batting average of 99.96, that record has stood for more than 70 years. The next best batting average is not even near 60. The other such record is Rafael Nadal winning 13 French open titles in his career. Others have struggled to even win 2-3 titles in the highly demanding clay court so Nadal’s record looks set to stand for a long time.

In 2020, when Nadal won the French Open for the 13 time in his career, it marked his 20th Grand Slam title. But what is more astounding is that in the 100 matches that Nadal Played at the French Open, he has only lost 2 matches. Here is what investors can learn from the Nadal story.

What investors can learn from the Nadal Story?

Here are 7 key takeaways from the Nadal victory at the French Open.

  1. Endurance is everything in investing. That is what Nadal taught us. To survive in the demanding clay conditions and to win against the best opponents in the world for 13 titles, calls for a lot of endurance and conviction. That is applicable to your investment approach to. Once your strategy is designed and back tested, you job is to stand by your strategy with conviction and endure through the vagaries of the market.
  2. Each day is a new day. That is how Nadal has approached the game. At no point was the arrogance visible of a man who has won 12 titles and like a monarch of all he surveyed. He showed the enthusiasm of a rookie trying to prove himself. That should be your approach to investing too. Don’t rest on past laurels. Treat each investing and trading as a new day without the conditioning of what has already happened.
  3. The good news is that you can actually improve your performance over time. If Nadal in his mid-thirties can win an enduring match on clay by getting better, investors have no reasons to complain. Remember, trading and investing is not about energy alone but also about insights and intelligence. For example, what you may apparently miss out in terms of enthusiasm and testosterone, you make up with wisdom and finesse. You just need to channel your thinking and your efforts in the right direction.
  4. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. That is applicable to your investment game too because as an investor you are working 24X7. The moral of the story is that you win the investing game by making the lesser number of mistakes in the market. Look at how Nadal played against Djokovich in the final. While Djokovich made a total of 52 errors during the game, Nadal made just 14 errors. In the final count, this made the difference between two players who were equally matched.
  5. You cannot outsmart the market but you can learn how to get the better of your competitors. That is the kind of planning that Nadal did when he faced up to Djokovich. Consider these instances. Autumns are normally cooler in Paris and the ball travels flatter. Therefore, instead of trying to spin the ball, which would not have worked in this weather, Nadal worked more on pace and angles. Additionally, Nadal played keeping the game of Djokovich in mind and his ability to cover the court. When you are investing always look at the best practices that other investors are following.
  6. The only way to succeed is to give it everything! Don’t try to be a part-time investor, you need to put your best foot forward, prepare thoroughly, keep making changes to your strategy and keep monitoring if your investment approach is working. Look at what Nadal did. He opted out of the US Open to prepare better for the French Open. The result was that he was better tuned and also physically fitter in the crucial match.
  7. Finally, take the outcome in your stride. As an investor, there are good quarters and there are bad quarters you will see. Like a tennis match that is over after it is over, an investment done yesterday is done and dusted. Don’t spend too much time thinking over or debating over the past. Pick your lesson and move on.

Rafael surely has some worth lessons for Indian investors. That is surely useful in the volatile market conditions.

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