Life is complicated. Sometimes more complicated than it needs to be. Complexity often causes stress and angst in decision making. When I am overwhelmed, I benefit from the times when I step back and remember the fundamentals.
Since it’s football season, why not share an example of the importance of fundamentals from the complicated game of football. Legendary Green Bay Packer coach, Vince Lombardi, became the head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1959, the year after the team won only one game the entire season. In only his second year as coach, the Packers made it to the NFL Championship game but suffered a heartbreaking loss in the closing minutes of the game. As told in the book, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, this is how he started training camp the next season:
He took nothing for granted. He began a tradition of starting from scratch, assuming that the players were blank slates who carried over no knowledge from the year before… He began with the most elemental statement of all. “Gentlemen,” he said, holding a pigskin in his right hand, “this is a football.”
These were professional football players. This was a professional coach teaching something extremely fundamental. How did the players respond? Judging by the team’s stats over Lombardi’s coaching career, I’d say they took it to heart and focused on the fundamentals of football. His teams never had a losing season and never lost a playoff game from that point forward. Lombardi’s commitment to the fundamentals propelled the success of the teams he coached.
Master’s cannot promise there will be no more downturns in the stock market, but we can provide a focus on fundamental principles that have stood the test of time to guide your decisions related to your finances. Bob Miller’s last blog post, “Prudent Investing” details some fundamental investing principles. Our hope is that by pursuing fundamental principles you will provide for your own needs and also have the opportunity to bless others along the way. I’d be interested to hear how you go about intentionally reminding yourself of the fundamentals as you make life’s decisions.