Lessons from a Marathon Runner on Creating Sustainable Wealth

Navigate your path to financial freedom with a marathon runner's discipline. Use systematic investing to combat inflation, grow passive income and embrace alternative investments, personalized to your financial journey's pace and course.

Lessons from a Marathon Runner on Creating Sustainable Wealth

Sustainable wealth is not merely about accumulating assets; it’s about the long-term maintenance and growth of these assets to withstand market volatility and inflation. It’s the kind of wealth that sustains your lifestyle, fulfills your future needs, and can potentially serve as a legacy for future generations.

Investing systematically is instrumental in achieving sustainable wealth. By investing regularly and with discipline, you can mitigate the impact of market volatility and curb the impulse to make decisions based on short-term market changes. This strategy is akin to the methodical nature of marathon training.

As a marathon runner, I can vouch that training for the event demands a systematic approach. It starts with setting a clear goal, followed by devising and executing a customised training plan. Regular, consistent practice, progress monitoring, and necessary adjustments make up the rest of the journey. It requires discipline, commitment, consistency, patience, and adaptability, much like navigating the ever-changing financial markets.

The pursuit of sustainable wealth requires a similar systematic approach. It starts with defining precise financial goals and developing a customized investment strategy that takes into account risk tolerance and investment horizon. This strategy is then implemented through regular, disciplined investing, irrespective of market conditions, and ongoing portfolio monitoring. Adjustments are made as required, aligning with market trends and personal financial changes. The journey to sustainable wealth calls for the same discipline, commitment, consistency, patience, and adaptability required in marathon preparation.

In essence, there are four key elements involved in marathon preparation that can also guide the creation of sustainable wealth: concentration, responsibility, determination, and individuality. Let’s delve into each of these aspects next.


Maintain a Steady Focus on Your Goals: Marathon runners typically undergo a long training regime spanning anywhere from 12–16 weeks long to build endurance, speed, and strength to complete the full 42.195KM distance which is very grueling on the body. Through the regime, it can be easy to lose concentration on the predetermined goal due to distractions like laziness, fatigue, or even work and family commitments. Therefore, it is important for the marathon runner to constantly remind themselves of their goal, and set aside time to train and eventually reach their goal.

In the realm of investing, this translates to a goal-oriented approach where precise, measurable financial targets are set. You steadily work towards these goals over time, staying focused, making informed decisions, and keeping your course steady, even in the face of market turbulence. The journey to financial success, much like a marathon, requires a steady focus on the end goal.


Monitor Your Progress and Uphold Commitment: Training for a marathon sometimes means facing days when it feels like the effort isn’t paying off. There may be days when you don’t feel like training or when it seems like all your efforts have been wasted due to a perceived ‘failure’ in a particular training session. As a runner, maintaining a log of training sessions and reviewing it regularly is a strategy I employ to track progress and uphold commitment. It’s a reassuring reminder that improvement is being made and the goal is within reach.

Similarly, assessing your investment portfolio and contrasting your progress with your financial goals regularly is crucial. For instance, an investor might be holding a diversified portfolio of stocks, private credit, bonds, and real estate. The fluctuation in stock prices, interest rates, or property values might make them feel that their investment strategy is not working. However, by maintaining a detailed record of their investments and reviewing it at regular intervals, they can see the broader picture of their portfolio’s performance.

This habit of tracking and reviewing enables investors to note improvements, identify areas needing adjustment, and maintain alignment with their long-term financial goals. It provides them with reassurance that they are on the right path toward achieving sustainable wealth, just as a marathon runner’s log reminds them of the progress they’re making toward reaching the finish line.


Stay Active and Persist in Your Endeavor: Running the actual race itself and training are two completely different things. You can feel very good in training, but completely feel overwhelmed when it comes to the race day due to all the emotions and exhilaration flooding your body. You might go out too fast, or completely forget to drink water at a water station. Your mind might play tricks on you from the 30km mark onwards — but it is a determination to reach your goal no matter what it takes that gets you through.

In parallel, consider a stock investor who’s focused on increasing their holdings in a specific stock. The stock market, known for its volatility, might experience significant fluctuations, leading to moments when the investor feels overwhelmed, much like a marathon runner on race day. They might second-guess their investment strategy or panic due to a sudden drop in the stock’s value.

However, just as a marathon runner pushes through the exhaustion and mental hurdles to reach the finish line, the investor must also exhibit a determination to stick to their investment strategy. They should not let temporary market setbacks distract them from their ultimate financial goals. Instead, they should continue investing systematically, understanding that market fluctuations are part of the investing journey, and success lies in consistency and perseverance.


Customize Your Investment Strategy to Suit Your Needs: Not all individuals are the same. Some can thrive on a 3-day training program, some have to train 7 days a week to get to where they are. Determine what works best for you according to your schedule, commitments, and what your body can handle.

Some investors might have a higher risk tolerance and a longer investment horizon. This could allow them to invest in a diversified portfolio of high-risk and high-return assets, such as emerging market equities or real estate. On the other hand, tech-savvy investors, comfortable with digital transactions, might have a more aggressive investment strategy. They might focus on high-growth digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

In the same vein, as marathon runners determine their training plan based on their schedule, commitments, and physical capacity, investors should also factor in their personal circumstances and financial capability when crafting their investment strategy. This personalized approach increases the likelihood of making informed decisions that align with their financial goals and lifestyle.


In conclusion, the journey to sustainable wealth is much like preparing for a marathon. Both require a systematic approach, a steady focus on long-term goals, a commitment to tracking progress, the determination to persist through challenging times, and an individualized strategy based on personal circumstances and capabilities.

Remember, marathon runners don’t aim to reach the finish line in a sprint. They train, pace themselves, and run with the finish line in mind, knowing it’s a long-distance race. Similarly, the journey to sustainable wealth isn’t about making a quick fortune. It’s about investing systematically and responsibly over time, staying focused on long-term financial goals, and adapting to changing market conditions.

Just as every marathon runner has their unique running style and training plan, every investor should have a personalized investment strategy. This strategy should reflect their financial goals, risk tolerance, investment horizon, and personal circumstances.

In the end, both journeys, whether it’s running a marathon or investing in sustainable wealth, are not merely about reaching the destination. They’re about growth, learning, and experiences along the way. So, remember to enjoy the journey and stay committed to your path, and you’re more likely to reach your goals.