Fishing and Finances are the Same: The Top 20% Catch the Majority of the Rewards!

Michael QuanChallenge, Education, Habits, How to, Misc, Personal Development13 Comments

Some links below may be from sponsors. Please see our disclosure for more info.

I recently took up surf fishing here in San Diego. It’s a fantastic way to get outdoors and still remain socially distant from the crowds.

It’s a lot of fun because there are a lot of different species you can catch from the beach.

I’m a pretty good trout fisherman, okay bass fisherman, and newbie surf fisherman.

And as a newbie, there is a new learning curve to adjust to… I’ve had to spend a lot of time, to catch just a few fish.

fishing and finances

Here are a few of my catches from the past month or so.

However, the past couple of weeks, I’ve been coming up emptyhanded more often than not.

That got me to thinking, “Fishing and finances are actually quite similar.”

Let’s explore how…

Catching Excitement is Fuel to the Top

Excitement is a critical component for finding life-long success in both fishing and personal finances.

Many times fishing and finances are introduced to you by someone… it could be a friend, a neighbor, a relative, or even a blogger!

Thanks to my parents, I was introduced to fishing when I was just a few years old.  They would take my family up to Mammoth Lakes, California, where I caught my very first fish.  I didn’t know what was going on back then, but when you hold something that is tapping rapidly and your parents are jumping up in down in excitement, you take notice.  They got me excited about the sport and taught me what they knew.

Likewise, my parents also taught me a lot about money and finances too. However, these weren’t explicit lessons, but ones that I observed and dealt with growing up. It’s exciting to see the possibilities that exist and realizing that you can attain similar success if you truly want it enough.

Catching excitement naturally leads to self-education at some level, additional training, and action.

Self-Education Lights the Path

If you’re anything like me, then you know that you get really fixated on something once you decide you want it!

I’ve been like this my whole life, and it’s a pattern that’s served me well.

Books and media are fantastic gateways into subjects you want to learn more about. I started reading books on investing well before I ever purchased a stock on my own. I knew that I wanted to leverage money, so I naturally gravitated to authors and experts who already figured it out before me. Here are some of my favorites in my resources section.

Self-education also comes from trial and error. Sure you may make a huge blunder, but I assure you the education is worth it.

Want to skip some of the “blunderings”?  Try adding a coach. A coach can give you a new perspective to help you accelerate your progress much faster than through trial and error. This is what I work to provide for my coaching clients.

Whenever I’m going somewhere new to fish, I always check with the locals first. I’ll go to a fishing shop to see what baits have been responding, and hire a guide (fishing coach) to take me out. You can cut out A TON of trial and error by leveraging the knowledge of an expert!

With Youtube these days, you can learn anything! The education is there for free. But you still have to put in the work.

The Top 20% Catch the Rewards

In fishing, just as with finances, the majority of catches and rewards go to the top 20% of anglers.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve likely heard about it before. It’s called the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 Rule.

Catching fish really isn’t that hard. It’s finding them which is the challenge! You see you can have the best rod and reel, the best bait, and the best boat. Yet if you’re not near the fish, you’ll never catch them.

The top 20% of fisherman figure out the patterns for finding the fish, and then present baits with the optimal chances of enticing them. This maximizes their ability to catch fish.

Likewise, the top 20% of investors do things differently than the other 80%. Top 20% investors are active in educating themselves on personal finance.

They don’t need to be experts in every aspect of investing, but they need to know enough to make a sound judgment on their own. Top investors also think differently about what money can do for them. For them, money is a tool which can be leveraged.

As such, these top 20% investors are more likely to reap large returns and rewards over the other 80%. This could be a difference of millions (or billions) of dollars.

Persisting Through the Failure

Want to know that great thing about the 80/20 rule? You can move from the 80% to the 20% if you really want to!

Unless you’re a trust fund baby that’s born with a silver spoon, you’ll likely start out as part of the 80%.

Several years ago, I got really excited about catching bass. However, it’s a much different type of fishing compared to trout fishing. I got really frustrated because it took me over 5 trips over the course of 2 years before I even caught a single bass!

Luckily, I had a healthy obsession and I wasn’t going to stop until I figured it out.

Now that I’ve caught a variety of fish, the next challenge is to figure out how to catch more quality (bigger) fish.

With regards to finances, we are doing well recently, but $10M is still in my crosshairs! Growth is the key to happiness.

Remember, when you feel like quitting, you’re probably almost there.

Final Thoughts

Hunger is the underlying catalyst for reaching the top 20% in any area of your life.

So be conscious of your passions, self-learn, train, and work smarter vs. harder.

This formula will put you in reach of the rewards most only dream about and it’s only a little stretch further.

Continue to challenge yourself in different areas because balance is critical to leading your best life.

As for me, my newest goal is to catch a legal halibut. I don’t intend to give up until it happens. Just like I know you won’t give up financial freedom.

Readers, do you fish ever? Are there any other similarities to your finances?

Follow me

13 Comments on “Fishing and Finances are the Same: The Top 20% Catch the Majority of the Rewards!”

  1. I’m a 80/20 principle enthusiast! Only if I can catch the 20 of the 80/20 for everything I do. I’ve been watching fishing videos from time to time and found them really enjoyable. This read was also great. By the way Mike, what does mentorship look like with you?

    1. Hi Sam, mentorship and coaching with me is a fun relationship that includes, a ton of learning, interesting challenges, and growth. It’s great to see people stretch and hit goals they once thought were out of reach.

  2. Nice job catching all those fish. I thought you were going to go another way with this post, but it definitely works!

    The question is, am I a top 20% investor?

  3. Great analogy and congrats on the catch. It took me awhile to get to sweet fishing spot in finance but now that I’m here it is literally like shooting fish in a barrel.

      1. Up until last May I had been maxing out retirement vehicles first and then putting everything else into stocks/bonds/reits. However my epiphany came last May when after reading a lot about syndicated deals I wanted to give it a shot. Ended up going with a syndicator that specialized in commercial multifamily apartment real estate and have invested solely in that the past year. So far have had great experience and passive income stream established has been a great result from it

        1. Cool, thanks for sharing! I’m fan of syndications too if you can trust the investment team. Last year I invested in some apartments in San Antonio, TX. So far so good and nice tax write-offs too.

  4. “Hunger is the underlying catalyst for reaching the top 20% in any area of your life.”

    Thank you, Michael. I needed to hear something today other than the ubiquitous the-system-is-rigged bullshit and this post did the trick.

  5. My wife and I bass fish a lot in our slightly early retirement we also trout fish. One thing I’ve noticed since leaving my 9 to 5 is we have caught so many more fish! We can go on cloudy and rainy days when the bass bite best here in Arkansas. We have caught a number of big bass up to eight pounds and have loaded up our freezer with bass filets, crappie and bream. It is a fun sport to do together except she constantly out fishes me!

    1. Love it, Steve! My wife can outdo me on occasion too. 😉

      Isn’t it great to fish during times with the least pressure on the water!?

      We just got back from a trout fishing trip with our kids. They had a blast.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.