By Ryan Turbyfill, MBA

I was talking with Ted Schwartz last week about Capstone’s next article and we discussed how investing and financial planning are a lot like training for an endurance racing event.  As some of you may know, one of my great passions outside of Capstone and my family are endurance events like Ironman and Marathons.  In fact, this is how I initially met Capstone’s Jamie Cornehlsen over a decade ago as we shared the same coach for many years.

An Ironman is a triathlon which consists of a 2.4- mile swim, 112-mile bike and finally a 26.2- mile run.  There are many similarities in how I approach training for an Ironman and investing for the financial future.  For an Ironman, typically one signs up a year before the event with many unknowns such as weather, injury, illness, etc. Similarly, I don’t know what next year looks like for the market, but we try to look at history as well as many indicators to help guide us and limit risks.

During training sessions, I’ve had days that I can keep running faster, pedaling harder, all without reaching the peak for the day.  Then there are many more times that I have envisioned being able to nail a hard workout, soon to realize that my legs or mental state are not cooperating; much like the market in March of this year.  My coach always had me focus on a large training block of a couple months, not the daily fluctuations of what my body or mind was dealing with in the moment, but how my fitness improved over months while putting in the work. So, I have learned to keep my vision on the forest and not the individual trees. That helps in training, investing and all the other areas of my life.

Many times, especially on a cold, dark winter morning, I battle getting up to put in the time training when the race is so far away, but try to tell myself it is the compounding of the miles that will get me to my goal (don’t let me fool you, there have been plenty of mornings the snooze button has won).  Saving for the future can feel much the same, with seemingly insignificant small contributions compounding to get to your financial goal.

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s (yes, I’m not in my 30’s to no one’s surprise) I was able to take more risks in training by putting harder, faster workouts together as my body could handle it and I didn’t have the cumulative miles, so needed to push it a bit.  Now my body can’t take as many of those hard workouts in a week, but I don’t need to as much as I have the cumulative miles in my legs and adapt easier now (although they don’t move as fast).  A younger investor can take more risk, having more time to recover from downturns and less money invested.  As retirement approaches or in retirement, the time frame to recover is less and you don’t  need to take as much risk as many years of saving and investing , hopefully with compounding returns, have brought you towards your goals. In my training as in investing, the journey is long, has lots of unexpected bumps, setbacks, and ultimately moments of extreme satisfaction.

Next Stage with Covid

One of our favorite parts at Capstone is meeting with our clients, getting to know you and having regular times to catch up on finances, but also your life.  Covid has put a pause on much of this for the past quarter as your safety is the top priority.  As we are about to start the 3rd quarter, we are open to meet in person with appropriate safety measures.  However, if you are still understandably not yet ready to meet in person, we can set up a time on the phone or Zoom as well.  Please feel free to reach out anytime to talk in person, phone or through Zoom.  Thank you again for trusting us as always and especially as we navigate the unprecedented times.


Image courtesy of blackzheep at