Forefront’s Market Notes: Life is 80% Mental and 40% Physical

Life is 80% Mental and 40% Physical


I have reached the stage in my life and in parenthood where my children can wake up, get themselves something to eat, and find something to do quietly. I thought this was the beginning of lazy weekend mornings, waking up leisurely, ready to tackle what lay ahead for that day. How wrong I was!


This weekend I had the pleasure of waking at 5:15 AM to pack my car with a cooler, chairs, and a wagon. One might think this is how a wonderful day at the beach begins, but this is also how driving nearly two hours to a lacrosse tournament begins.


80% Mental


My son, AJ, is a goalie, which he absolutely loves, and I also love, but with a huge helping of anxiety on the side. It was okay in 1st – 3rd grade, but the boys he plays against have been eating their Wheaties, and the velocity of shots being taken has increased exponentially.

As he and I drove to the tournament on Sunday, we talked about some footwork and things to remember. I asked him how he felt going against better competition, taking harder shots. He told me it was like the man from Little Giants (that man was Steve Emtman) when he said that sports are “80% mental and 40% physical,” and if he didn’t let himself think too much about the shots, he was fine.



I silently reminded myself while driving that maybe if I didn’t think about the velocity of the shots, I, too, would be fine.

Parenting, like sports, is a grind sometimes, and I was thinking about how many parents out there are struggling with that same anxiety that comes from the grind and hoping our children are happy and successful. Just when we thought maybe we could sleep in for once, we are reminded that parenting gets harder before it gets easier. (It does get easier, right……right?!)


Lax and Life

As I watched the tournament games and thought about what AJ had said on the car ride down, I started to realize that he wasn’t just talking about sports or parenting, but about life, and more specifically for me, about your financial life.

Building Wealth is 80% mental and 40% physical. The mental part of it is behaviors and emotions, while the physical part comes from the actual investments you own. Your financial success has far more to do with your behavior than it does with your intelligence. How you act and react is far more important to building wealth than picking investments.

I have written about this so much, but I tried to think about how difficult this must be for so many of us as we struggle with the rest of what life throws at us. Watching parents on the sideline, me being one of them, so emotionally invested in their child’s success, I realized that we all live our lives on that emotional edge. Whether it is the overwhelming pressure of work or the anxiety of trying to raise good humans who can contribute to society, trying to make decisions without emotions is almost impossible.

With all of that going on, how can we make good decisions with our finances, especially when so much of our lives are hinged on building wealth and eventually being able to stop working and actually sleep in?


40% Physical

What we invest in doesn’t hold as much weight as how much and how often we invest.  Your savings rate is a much bigger determination of future wealth than your market return rate. This is not a commonly communicated belief by the talking heads on TV because they tend to focus on things you have no control over, like the stock market going up or down.


This was exactly what was happening with a family I serve. They came to me because of a large tax liability they had and couldn’t understand how that happened, and I quickly discovered that the advice they were getting could have been pulled straight from CNBC. We recently completed a case study with them to look back at the past year and identify the things that we changed that were completely in their control. This wasn’t advice their old advisor gave them because the old advisor focused on the physical part of the equation and only talked about the investments. Look at the case study below and remember that life is hard; focusing on the things you can control is the difference between success and failure. Not just when building wealth but when stopping lacrosse shots or when watching those lacrosse shots being fired and knowing it is your child’s job to stop those shots from going into the net.

Stock market calendar this week:

9:45 AM S&P U.S. services PMI
10:00 AM Factory orders
10:00 AM ISM services
None scheduled
8:30 AM U.S. trade deficit
3:00 PM Consumer credit
8:30 AM Initial jobless claims
10:00 AM Wholesale inventories
None scheduled



Most anticipated earnings for this week:


Did you miss our blog last week?

Perception vs Reality

About Amit: I am a first generation American, the son of a working-class Indian family, and I lived through my parents’ struggle to find their place in this country, to put down roots that would sustain them as well as their children in a new land. As they encouraged me to excel in school and fostered my hobbies and interests, I was keenly aware of the dynamic between them. I understood that there was a difference between where they came from individually and where we were now. They worked hard in their individual capacities, but they weren’t always on the same page about financial issues – and that can make or break a family’s future. I didn’t know it at the time, but this laid the groundwork for my passion towards financial services and helping families succeed.