You Should Age-Adjust Your Training Portfolio As You Would Your Investment Portfolio


Hi folks,

FitOldDog Financial Investment and Estimated Training Diversification Chart. Training chart represents the average of a 3-week cycle (hard, harder, recovery). For closer view click on the figure, use the back arrow to return.

Setting up your investment portfolio as you age is quite complex, especially if you do it yourself (the only safe way, in my opinion). The first thing to do is decide your ‘risk averseness level,’ your need for cash flow, desired growth rate of your portfolio, level of required stability of your funds, the security of your investment instruments, and the ethics of your strategy. You achieve these goals by means of wise diversification. You have to remember that inflation will eat away at your funds, whilst unwise investments can destroy them completely. My approach was to make a table of these variables, decide what I was comfortable with, and then slowly bring my actual investments into line with the chart. The instruments I chose include the security of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), cash generation of Preferred Stocks, educated gambling of selected penny stocks, and the comfort of solid companies that I know (Stocks and Bonds). I generally minimize Stock and Bond Funds in my portfolio, with those I select being Indexed Funds, divided between US and Foreign. It took a lot of work to understand this stuff to a minimal level of proficiency, much of which I gleaned from ‘The Intelligent Investor,’ by Benjamin Graham, and the insights of thoughtful friends.

You can think about your training, or exercise for better health, in a similar way, but instead of a great book I use many books and my coaches, including Chris Hauth, and before that Eric Bean, combined with insightful comments from fellow athletes. Some examples of parallels between financial investments and athletic training (which is investing in your mind and body) are as follows.

  • Inflation is represented by the steady decay of your body with age (occurs whether you like it or not).
  • Sprinting for the finish line with a tight muscle somewhere is more like a penny stock (risky, but maybe worth it).
  • Careful endurance runs, designed by your coach, and based on a long history of working with you, including laboratory tests such as lactate threshold, are much like the relative safety of TIPS (you’ll lose a little ground, but not much).
  • Strength training, Feldenkrais, Continuum, dance and so forth are in a way like education that guides your decisions, and I think that the cash portion of my investment funds is the closest equivalent. This learning is available for immediate application to any of the other training components (or to purchase investment instruments in the case of my financial portfolio).

Take a look at the comparative pie charts above and think about your training as you would your savings portfolio. A little thought along these lines will help you to understand what you are doing, and it could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

-k @FitOldDog


  1. Rational Investment portfolio management. Hmmmmm.

    Seems okay up until the world goes all irrational and we have a major depression.
    Have you any gold or silver in the old mattress??? Any land to grow spuds???

    I am not sure the analogy works for a pedantic economist. Not being pedantic it is okay for me but a little uncomfortable under the armpits.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.