Many years ago, when I first started shooting sporting clays competitively, I got watch one of the worlds greatest shooters, John Krueger, shoot at the U.S. Open. I was a star struck groupie, I watched as he turned every target into dust. Repeatedly. I was impressed beyond belief; the man could walk on water in my opinion. When I got back to Colorado, some of the guys that I shot regularly with asked me what I learned. What do you mean? I watched John Krueger shoot a round of clays and break over 95% of them. But really, Mike, what did you learn? I watched targets fly in front of John and he hit them. But the reality was, I didn’t learn a damn thing. I couldn’t replicate what he did to save my life or to break even five more targets.
The last big shoot Laura and I competed in, we were squadded with one of the top sporting clay shooters in the world, Bill McGuire. To add to it, the squad that shot behind us had another world champion, Gebben Miles. In most shoots, you will see Bill and Gebben occupying the top three spots. So here I was again, in the midst of some heavy hitters. But this time it was going to be different. Instead of watching them break targets, I knew they would both break at least ninety five out of a hundred, I watched their process. Both shooters had a process, every station, every target was identical. At times, I thought Bill was a mannequin, he barely moved his gun. Gebben started every station, looking at his feet, his target line, his hold point and his swing. Every time it was the same for both, it didn’t matter what kind of target it was, how far out, rabbit, battue or mini. Targets broke, the referee shouted “dead pair” station after station.
As with most things, being able to replicate a process generally leads to more successful outcomes. It really isn’t magic; it just takes discipline to stay the course. Investing for retirement planning is the same way. You must know what your goals are and have a process. It takes a lot of discipline, especially with turbulence we see in our current economy. We are fortunate that we have Laura and Franklin. Laura is on our Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction investment committee. She has a process. Franklin to has the experience to recognize the importance of processes and implemented them at other firms. Both know how important it is to have and follow a process. Collectively, they have both been doing it for over 60 years.
P.S. The above picture is Laura shooting and the gentleman in the shorts is Bill McGuire. Looks like he was watching Laura’s process
Mike Mickels is the President of CochranMickels Retirement Specialists and an avid sporting clay competitor. CochranMickels Retirement Specialists provides personalized planning and investment services to individuals approaching and in retirement. They also provide retirement and benefits training to Federal employees.
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. CochranMickels and Cambridge are not affiliated.