Don’t forget the fans (The Financial Athlete #30)

There’s a certain magic in sports when the crowd goes wild during a great moment in sports. The crowd, made up of strangers from all walks of life, suddenly finds itself united in a heated emotional bond. These great moments in sports are borne in the collective memory of the fans. Years later, at the right place and time this bonding with complete strangers can be reignited only by someone recounting the story of the catch or kick or shot. Indeed, these stories take on a mythological proportion.

The fans are a mighty force to reckon with. Become a fan favorite, and you enter a world of sports bliss. Become disliked by the fans, and you’ll probably wish you were still playing in little league.

When you invest in a company, don’t forget the fans. Who are these fans? The customers. If the company’s customers are businesses, then know their reputation in the industry. If their customers are consumers, then you might already know how satisfied they are. Satisfied customers — or better yet, delighted customers — are a good starting point to find companies to invest in. And if there’s a turn for the worst in customer satisfaction, you don’t have to wait for deteriorating quarterly results to sell. Listen to the fans!

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