ASK, an acronym for Abilities, Skills, and Knowledge (The Financial Athlete #93)

1. ABILITIES

Nothing happens without abilities, expert skills and knowledge notwithstanding. A broken wrist impairs the abilities of a professional golfer, enough to lose to an amateur with a high handicap.

No money impairs the abilities of the most astute investor, enough for a child to gain a higher return with only interest income drawn from a savings account.

The way for an athlete to grow in ability is by training for strength, endurance, and flexibility.

The way for an investor to grow in ability is by investing for income, a wellspring for greater wealth when reinvested.

2. SKILLS

Skills are diverse. They are the product of years of training, discipline, patience, and confidence.

The skills of golfing include driving, wedging, and putting.

The skills of investing include doing proper due diligence and exercising sound judgment.

3. KNOWLEDGE

Aging impairs some abilities of the golfer, but knowledge of the game and course compensates for some loss of abilities.

An investor must attain knowledge of financial literacy to know what to buy and knowledge of market dynamics to know when to buy and sell. Without knowledge, an investor will perish.

The common error is for a man to overestimate his abilities, skills, and knowledge. Losing is the teacher to assess these levels more accurately.

“Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired when under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” – Plato, The Republic

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