Editor's note: Read part one about the connection between U.S. Olympians and 2020 Hopefuls.
Team USA is shining at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Even more than marveling at the growing medal count, the team’s incredible athleticism and spirit is inspiring. It may be natural to put the athletes of Team USA on a pedestal, but you have more in common with them than you think. What it takes to pursue Olympic gold—determination, focus, commitment—also applies to pursuing financial goals.
Clients and Olympians—More Alike Than Different.
The connections were easy to see when our high-achieving, sponsored U.S. Olympians—who are all clients—sat down to talk with other equally impressive clients from different professions and backgrounds, for the TD Ameritrade #likeyou campaign. Whether active traders or buy-and-hold investors, all of our clients discovered they have many things in common.
The market’s a worthy opponent—John Hawke meets Bob and Mike Bryan.
On the court, Bob and Mike Bryan work together as one of the most successful men’s tennis doubles duos of all time. Off the court they compete with each other in the markets. Placing trades in locker rooms, checking stock prices before training sessions, the twins are tethered to their phones as much as to their racquets. Although each builds his portfolio using different trading strategies, they both found commonalities with fellow active trader and retired CEO John Hawke.
Willing to take calculated risks for potential rewards, all three traders acknowledge that a big similarity between tennis and trading is dedication to a strategy. “When you start a game, you don't wait for the opponent to tell you what the strategy is going to be,” offered John. “Think of the market as the opponent and seize the strategy. That’s your strength.” Part of that strength is letting go of mistakes and correcting them as soon as possible, which the brothers agree is great advice. “When we put the racquets down, we want to learn from people like you,” said Bob.
Trading up to better lives—Kristen Giovanniello meets Chaunté Lowe.
Who could imagine an HR consultant and a three-time U.S. Olympian high jumper would discover they have so much in common? Chaunté Lowe and Kristen Giovanniello both overcame challenging childhoods. Neither were taught how to save and invest from family role models. Instead, they each learned financial discipline on their own. As Chaunté shared, “it was really up to us to find a way to change our lives and figure out what it is we're going to do with our future.”
Passionate about providing a better life for their families, both Kristen and Chaunté leveraged TD Ameritrade educational resources and tools to improve upon their investing skills. Today, Chaunté has a computer setup for trading in her home and often knocks out market analysis before her first early morning workout. Kristen, who once didn’t know what a 401k or a stock was, is now a self-directed investor placing trades on her own. “It's nice that we didn't let our past define our future but changed it,” said Kristen. “And made it better for us and our kids.”
Watch Chaunté and Kristen celebrate a jump in the market, and view more #likeyou videos of our athletes and clients.
Mentally strong for the long haul—Ida Siegfried meets David Oliver.
An architect from St. Louis with a talent for infusing sustainable design into her projects, Ida Siegfried may seem worlds apart from David Oliver, Florida resident and U.S. Olympic bronze medalist in hurdles. Yet, both are self-starters, or as David puts it, “high achieving individuals who are goal oriented.”
While their paths through life have been different, many parallels are noticeable. David attended a college without an established track program and grew it and his career. Ida entered a male-dominated profession and is now principal at her own firm. “We’ve got goals and are willing to pursue them,” said Ida. And that goes for finances, too. Both actively monitor their accounts and manage their portfolios. Sticking to their plans, they work to control their outcomes. As David said, ”When you set goals and achieve them, nothing is better than that.”
Planning for a balanced approach—Elisa Allan meets David Boudia.
Taking nothing for granted, David Boudia, U.S. Olympic gold medalist, is balancing a storied career in platform diving with his family life. Like David, balancing work and family is also very important to Elisa Allan, an industrious Illinois business owner and single mother of three children with a busy travel sports team schedule.
Neither David or Elisa have time in their hectic lifestyles to actively manage their portfolios, but both prioritize a sound financial future. Understanding that the decisions they make now can affect their families’ lives, each relies on the guidance and support of knowledgeable TD Ameritrade professionals to help them pursue their financial goals. “The reason why you invest is so that you can secure your [family’s] future,” said David. That’s why he and Elisa think it’s important to keep goals in mind at all times. “To live the life that you want to live … you have to visualize what you want and then set a plan in place,” shared Elisa.
Big picture planning—Brian Levine meets Mariel Zagunis.
Mariel Zagunis, U.S. Olympic gold medalist in fencing, tries to be unpredictable in competitions to keep competitors guessing. Bryan LeVine, an R&D engineer, identifies with that strategy. He plays recreational volleyball and enjoys surprising players when they learn he can spike and block despite not being the tallest team member.
While the element of surprise is valuable in sports, Mariel and Brian prize predictability when it comes to investing. Having both overcome ups and downs—financially and professionally—both Mariel and Brian focus on the big picture when investing and consider the long-term potential of every investment. Said Mariel, “It's important to think about your future, invest in it, and be dedicated to working towards it every day.” Brian, who has been with the same company since he graduated college (he’s now 38), knows a thing or two about that stick-to-it approach. “I put the same kind of focus in my investing that I do in my job. Being able to do that is helping me secure my retirement which I'm looking forward to someday. I know that long-term view is going to help.”
We’re All Goal-Oriented.
When all was said and done, all of our clients discovered similarities in the importance of setting goals and having the inner discipline to reach them. Whether performing on a diving platform or a trading platform, these clients are striving to create the future they envision. And many clients decided to stay in touch.