Monday, July 4, 2011

They are more similar than you think.

Physical fitness is really in the same vein as finance.  Let's count the ways.

1. They are both single player games.  Strength training is training yourself to be stronger than the past you.  Finance is screwing others maneuvering yourself to be wealthier than the past you.  No second player, no team.  That's probably why there are so many Patrick Batemans in the world of business. 
2. Google "how to trade stocks" and "how to get jacked" and you will probably get similar results.  As in most results are bullshit, pay x$ and I'll show you some secret only I know.  It's worth 1000000$ but I'm only charging 10000$ so you are getting  a great fucking deal man!
3. Both have sound scientific foundations, but then quickly gets out of hand with "Brand New WOW systems" and broscience.  So pretty much anywhere you go in fitness, they will tell you compound lifts, squats, dl, press, bench.  But fuck that right, sounds hard as shit.  Nah I want that secret squirrel shit with the cables and vibrating belt these good looking scientists are putting over.  Same shit in finance.  Buy low sell high blah blah, uptrend downtrend, Graham/Dodd Security Analysis.  Fuck that, i want that there secret black box formulas guaranteed 10000% returns.
4. Most of both businesses are about promoting the business.  The world of fitness is promoting new ways of working out and supplements.  Its finance equivalent is new mechanical systems and my favorite, NO RISK HIGH REWARD.
5. Both are all about "What have you done for me lately."  Fitness industry moves from one fad to the next.  No sooner did pilates and yoga become household names did they get marginalized for crossfit, which really is just high intensity cardio people did throughout history.  Back in the days, it was all about how big your legs were, then your chest, then your back, then your guns.  Now it's your abs.  Same with the finance game.  When the markets are killing it, everyone's a bull.  Any analysts talking about caution and shortsellers get called out for their stupidity.  Then as soon as sentiment changes, it's the opposite.  Hedge funds that get a great year are branded as geniuses.  As soon as the returns dip, nope, they are retards.  Really, how many investors are known for more than a few years before new guys are cycled through?  Buffet?  Zweig?  Steinhardt?  Slim pickings yo.

The irony is both industries REQUIRE vast majority of its customers to run from one fad to the next like lemmings.  Imagine the markets with no bubbles.  (Also why efficient market hypothesis is bullshit.)  Imagine if people in the gym still did below parallel squats.  There would be nothing to sell.  If everyone was really that wise, America's GDP would drop by a third.  (You can come up with your own conspiracy theories from here).