Peyton Manning will go into the record books as one of football's greatest quarterbacks. He's amassed a record that is the envy of peers and a model for new players. But Peyton Manning isn't just a brilliant signal caller; he's also a highly successful businessman who has amassed a net worth of more than $100 million.
In a recent Sports Illustrated interview Manning talked about everything from voting to his golf game. But much of what he had to say could also be applied to the world of investing, including these seven takeaways that may help you build a bigger retirement nest egg.
1. Be willing to adapt
When he first began playing football, Manning signed up to play free safety or quarterback, but since they already had plenty of free safeties, he ended up playing under center. He'd still love to play free safety, but he adapted to what the market needed and became incredibly successful. Many companies -- like Apple -- have similarly succeeded by evolving to meet customer demands and investors embracing them have been handsomely rewarded. And as investors, we should seek
2. Accept changes
When Peyton's younger brother Cooper was told he couldn't play football anymore because of spinal stenosis, Cooper could have focused on his misfortune, but instead he concentrated on the opportunities ahead of him. There will be times when investments go sour because business models have changed and companies have become obsolete. Investors embracing such changes will be able to shift away from companies with failing business models such as Polaroid and into emerging companies such as Tesla Motors sooner.
3. Patience is key
Manning has nerve damage that affects his arm strength, but he remains one of the most dynamic players in the NFL because of a slow-and-steady strength training program that doesn't expose him to too much short term risk, but instead allows him to progress over time. Focusing on the long term helps investors stick with game-changing companies through the stock market's inevitable bumps and bruises, too. And that's a far better approach than hoping for a short-term fix.
4. Trust yourself
Peyton does a gut check every spring to see whether he still thinks he can and should keep playing football. Everyone has an opinion, but ultimately it's his decision. Investors should likewise rely on their own educated judgment. If they do, they'll find that they're less easily swayed by the whims and whispers of others and more likely to stick with Fool-ishly great stocks such as Priceline Group, Amazon.com, and Netflix, even when people are shouting "sell."
5. Preparation is key
Manning doesn't watch a football tape once. Instead he watches it alone, multiple times, with pen and paper handy. A disciplined approach to evaluating investment ideas and decisions can similarly improve investing skills. Why? Because it will help you avoid reacting emotionally to market give-and-takes. After all, buying or selling based on the latest news headline rarely makes sense, and preparation is key to avoiding that temptation.
6. Mistakes are OK.
Manning doesn't like that he holds the record for rookie interceptions, but he knows that those early mistakes were important to his learning how to become one of the game's best quarterbacks. As investors, we also make mistakes, but those mistakes should serve as catalysts for us to get better rather than as reasons to quit. I know I'd have hated to miss out on some of the great long tail investment ideas of the past decade simply because I lost money buying Transwitch during the Internet bust.
7. Get started sooner, rather than later
Manning thinks the best way to learn is to play. That's because playing gives you an opportunity to master what's critical to winning. Similarly, those who chose to start investing sooner rather than later enjoy an advantage because they'll learn how withstand the markets inevitable drops by spotting great ideas quickly.
Todd Campbell owns shares of Amazon.com. Todd owns E.B. Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may or may not have positions in the companies mentioned. Todd owns Gundalow Advisors, LLC. Gundalow's clients do not have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Priceline Group, and Tesla Motors. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days. We Motley Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.