Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Forget the Investing Gene

By Selena Maranjian - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 8:03PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

In investing and in life, more things are possible than we think.

For $149, you may be able to learn whether you've got gold-medal athletic potential. The New York Times reports that a new commercially available test can determine whether a subject is well-suited for speed and power sports, endurance sports, or both. Parents are using the test to see which sports might suit their kids best.

It sounds harmless enough, but remember, there are exceptions to every rule. The test might steer kids away from sports they'd really love, whether they excel at those pursuits or not. Though roughly 200 of our genes may govern our athletic abilities, none of them necessarily define our destiny. The article noted one Spanish Olympic long jumper who didn't have the expected gene.

Holding back on investing
Still, some parents might use this test as the sole reason to keep their kids out of a certain sport -- just like the we sometimes keep ourselves from investing for similarly silly reasons. Back in 2001, our annual April Fools prank got some people thinking there was an "investing gene" that determined stock market performance. The more common excuses we make for not investing are no less ridiculous.

We tell ourselves don't have enough time. (A simple index fund takes mere minutes to set up.) We're not smart enough. (Again, index funds are great no-brainers.) We don't have enough money. (It's easy to find inexpensive brokers.)

And if you fear your money won't grow very quickly in stocks, especially well-known ones, check out these market-beating 10-year average annual gains:

Company

10-year avg. annual return

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX)

8%

FedEx (NYSE:FDX)

8%

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI)

7.8%

Lowe's (NYSE:LOW)

7.2%

Deere (NYSE:DE)

9.1%

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)

9.7%

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM)

9.1%

Data: Yahoo! Finance.

There's no gene standing between you and your dreams of, say, javelin superstardom. And there's no insurmountable obstacle keeping you from investing for a better future. Heck, you don't even have to pick the best stocks on your own. Let us point you to some top-notch mutual funds via a free trial to our Motley Fool Champion Funds newsletter (where I've found a bunch of winners for my own portfolio).

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Yum! Brands. FedEx is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Raytheon Technologies Corporation Stock Quote
Raytheon Technologies Corporation
RTX
$95.01 (2.00%) $1.86
FedEx Corporation Stock Quote
FedEx Corporation
FDX
$230.68 (0.63%) $1.44
Yum! Brands, Inc. Stock Quote
Yum! Brands, Inc.
YUM
$118.16 (0.38%) $0.45
Oracle Corporation Stock Quote
Oracle Corporation
ORCL
$79.15 (2.58%) $1.99
Johnson Controls International plc Stock Quote
Johnson Controls International plc
JCI
$58.05 (3.00%) $1.69
Deere & Company Stock Quote
Deere & Company
DE
$368.16 (1.72%) $6.24
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Stock Quote
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
LOW
$206.47 (2.12%) $4.29

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
400%
 
S&P 500 Returns
128%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/15/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.