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How Managing Your Portfolio is Like Playing a Round of Golf Thumbnail

How Managing Your Portfolio is Like Playing a Round of Golf

At first glance, sports and finance don’t appear to have much in common. But after spending some time out on the golf course, the parallels might surprise you. Golf, like any sport, takes discipline, patience, and commitment - all qualities a good investor should have as well.

Another big parallel? The importance of preparation. In fact, preparation is just as (if not more) important to the outcome of the game than your actual performance. 

Preparation Over Performance

A hole-in-one is rare in the game of golf, making it pretty unrealistic for any golfer to assume they’ll shoot a perfect round every time. That’s why the game of golf isn’t about making great shots on every hole, rather it’s about limiting your misses so you don’t spoil a good round.

The preparation you put into your golf game is important not for those times you’re able to perform on par or better, but for when a bad shot (or two…or three) inevitably comes along. Golfers need to know how to recover from a miss and turn something ugly into something manageable that won’t ruin the round.

To us, there are many parallels here between spending time out on the course and protecting your portfolio.

It’s hard to think about the “what if’s” when you’re experiencing a winning streak. Prior to the onset of Covid-19, for example, investors enjoyed the longest bull market in history. That ended pretty abruptly, of course, and knocked the wind out of many unprepared investors and their portfolios.

How We Stayed Proactive in 2022

By preparing in advance for the uncertainty ahead, savvy investors can actually take advantage of the opportunities a bear market and economic volatility present. 

Let’s take a look at how our firm approached 2022 (one of the most challenging and unprecedented economic years in recent history) in a way that helped us prepare proactively and protect our client portfolios.

Strategic Repositioning

Heading into 2022, the writing was on the wall that the year ahead would be a challenging one. Geopolitical unrest was unfolding overseas, and inflation was soaring. As financial professionals, our team envisioned that the Federal Reserve would step in throughout 2022 to try and tame high inflation by hiking interest rates.

With these expectations in mind, we got to work by strategically repositioning our client portfolios to make sure they could weather the storm ahead.


It’s no secret that higher interest rates can weigh on Technology and Growth oriented companies.  Therefore, we proactively rotated into Value securities – those with strong dividend streams and healthy balance sheets.  The reason being, during periods of market distress, this focus can provide a cushion or lifeline compared to other riskier or leveraged asset classes.   As it turned out, Value was the sweet spot in an otherwise horrendous equity market during 2022.


A rise in interest rates has an adverse effect on underlying bond prices. Before 2022 even began, we anticipated this scenario and repositioned in advance. To prepare our clients and their portfolios for this changing environment, we placed an emphasis on very short-duration and high-credit-quality issues. A healthy emphasis on floating rate bonds along with inflation adjusted bonds (not TIPS!) also helped shelter our clients from what turned out to be the worst bond market…in history!  

Adaptability Is Key

As we continue helping our clients work toward their long-term goals, our focus remains on building all-weather portfolios that can adapt quickly to changing market conditions. Whether we’re enjoying another historically long bull market or battening down the hatches for expected volatility ahead, our team is constantly making strategic shifts in an effort to make the most of these opportunities. Tax consequences are always at the forefront.  It’s not about how much you make but how much that you get to keep!   Due to our tax loss harvesting during peak Covid 2020 and then again in 2022, we were able to adjust our portfolios with very little to no tax consequences at all. And because our clients pay absolutely zero trading fees of any kind – we always have our finger on the button to take advantage of opportunities at any given moment. 

Want to know what we’ve been up to lately and how we’re helping clients make the most of today’s economic environment? Feel free to reach out and ask, we’d love to hear from you.

Daniel Trumbower

Senior Wealth Advisor