Can Tiger’s Buddha help your portfolio?

The Tiger saga is supposedly costing billions, but his faith can help you make money in the market.

By Jamie Dlugosch Feb 21, 2010 9:21PM

It is hard not to be cynical regarding the Tiger Woods saga, but the golf king’s recent press conference included subtle insight that investors can use to beat the market.

 

Perhaps this story is worth watching after all.

 

Tiger’s misdeeds are the latest in a long line of boorish celebrity behavior followed by the obligatory public apology. It really is an old story.

 

So too is Tiger’s solution.

 

While much of the world focused on Tiger’s words and the delivery thereof in an attempt to detect sincerity I was interested in the religious aspect of the story.

 

It turns out that Tiger is a long time Buddhist and that during this crisis Tiger planned to use Budhha’s teachings to help him change for the better. (10 stocks for better Zen)

 

While the Zen reference may be another in a long line of ploys to simply restore Tiger’s stature in the eyes of the public, I found the moment to be quite sincere.

 

If you know anything about Buddhism you know that you don’t mess with Buddha, not if you want karma on your side. Tiger was clearly serious about making things right by introducing what many feel is somewhat of a fringe faith.

 

So why does any of this matter to investors? Because Budhha can help you navigate the markets thereby increasing the performance of your portfolios.

 

I was introduced to Buddhism 12 years ago by my good friend and mentor in this business, Al Frank. Al made a point of crediting the Zen master with much of his success in the market.

 

Without going into a dissertation on the finer points of the religion the essential point of Buddhism relates to controlling one’s emotions. Live within yourself eliminating desire for outwardly things and you will find happiness.

 

You will also find riches beyond your belief.

 

The market is full of noise and distraction that can cause behavior detrimental to achieving investment success. Basically the noise and distraction creates excessive fear or greed that results in buying or selling at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

 

It is this qualitative aspect of the market that makes life so interesting and causes those quantitative types to go bananas. There is more to success than simply numbers.

 

For Tiger he’ll need Buddha to quench certain desires. For the rest of us we can use Buddha to quench our fear and greed. (10 stocks for a rational investor)

 

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