26 March 2020

Process Makes Perfect

Watch any game of rugby and you’ll notice that the goal kickers go through the same routine every time they take a kick.

by James Godrich

Fund Manager


Jonny Wilkinson held his hands in that golfing pose, Owen Farrell looks up at the posts, down at the ball and back up the posts again and Dan Biggar famously shuffled his shoulders, then his knees, then fixed his hair then shuffled his shoulders again.

These routines are not by accident. Focus on the process and the outcome takes care of itself.

I follow a similar theory – focus on the process and the outcome takes care of itself. In fact, you might not know it at the time, but every investment will fit into one of four quadrants (from good to bad in my opinion)…good process, good outcome…good process, bad outcome…bad process, good outcome…bad process, bad outcome.

But that’s not all that asset management can learn from sport. Go to a cricket match an hour early and you’ll notice a hive of activity on the pitch. Bowlers bowling, fielders catching but interestingly, batters on the wicket playing air shots. A warm up is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one.

Working from home has done nothing to change my morning warm up. 7.10am cafetiere…7.15am FT headlines and macro diary…7.30am global indices, fixed income markets, commodity prices and FX moves…7.45am public announcements from any of our portfolio companies.

Neither the government lockdown nor the market volatility affects our ability or willingness to exist in the ‘good process’ area of my decision quadrants – we hope that more often than not we will be able to look back on our decisions as following a good process and giving a good outcome.

James is the fund manager of the three JM Finn Coleman Street Investments portfolios.

James Godrich, Fund Manager

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