My son’s high school hockey team won their game the other night 7-1. In what can often be a tense ride home (dad’s you know what I mean) I was more relaxed talking about his play. One of his comments was “If we beat them 7-1 what are the other teams winning by that beat us 7-1?”
I’ve been thinking about that comment.
Becky responded that both teams looked evenly matched at the beginning and then at one point it shifted one way.
It’s hard to see that shift live and in person.
It’s easier to see it after the game.
Take baseball, for example. If you go to a Red Sox game and see American League MVP Mookie Betts play, you would have a hard time deciphering his MVP skills compared to the rest of the lineup. In one game that is. Because the difference between most professional players is only visible after dozens and dozens of at bats and even then there’s not much separation between the winner of the MVP and the runner-ups.
Growing up in the 80s, I had the opportunity to see Wayne Gretzky and his Oilers play the Boston Bruins at the old Boston Garden. The Great One scored 92 goals in the 1981-82 season, had 200 points in a season four times, which has never been repeated since (the reasons why are here). But when my dad and I watched him play, he wasn’t particularly big, or fast, or impressive. But for all the reasons we already know, he was the Great One for a reason, which was crystal clear at the end of each season.
Last weekend Bruins great Patrice Bergeron played in his 1000th game. If you watch him live you see he’s a great player but he’s not the biggest or the most skilled player necessarily. He just puts his head down and works. And after 1000 games, there’s something to see. But don’t think for a minute it was easier for him. Because it wasn’t. He remembers what it felt like to be cut from his midget team.
As an investor, it’s difficult to see success after one day, month, quarter, year or even a few years. I consider three-years to be perhaps equivalent to one season in sports. The key is to put several investing seasons together, and stick to your game plan. And if you do that you just might become a great investor. Because believe me, when you’re in the investing game, it’s nearly impossible to see who’s great and who isn’t. That takes time.
P.S. Thinking about great seasons, Young Research’s Retirement Compounders has had an average annual return of 12.4% over the last three-years and 12.5% over the last ten.
A sneak peak at NESN’s ‘Bergeron at 1000’.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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