Treat Your Body Like Your Stock Portfolio

Coming from a Finance background, I immediately make connections between trends. Something I noticed at the start of my fitness journey was the amazing similarity to managing a portfolio to managing your meals.

For those of you who aren’t well versed in the world of finance or even own stocks/bonds etc., don’t worry. I think this explanation does more than compare portfolio management and nutrition. It calls out a pattern as well as a logical way to think about your resources (both financial and nutritional). 

Aspect 1: Risk Tolerance
Let’s imagine that we have $2,000 and want to invest this money. One of the first questions we need to ask ourselves is “How much risk do I want to take with my money?” Generally speaking, there are 3 categories:

  • Conservative (low risk)
  • Moderate/Balanced (middle)
  • Growth (most risk)

Think of risk as being your ‘Energy Expenditure’ or how much you’re working out. If you work out a lot today, you can assume more risk (calories) because you just burned a lot working out.

Now let’s think about your typical diet. Generally speaking, 2,000 calories per day is the expected/average. So lets compare calories with our bankroll. Conservative would be lets sayyyyy 1800. Moderate/Balanced would be 2000 and Growth would be 2200. The higher your ‘risk’ or ‘energy expenditure’, the more calories you can/should consume.

Aspect 2: Holdings
As we know, your diet mainly consists of three “macronutrients”: 

1. Protein
2. Fats
3. Carbohydrates

A ‘stock’ portfolio can consist of three major asset classes:

1. Stocks (individual companies)
2. Bonds (debt of an individual company, government or municipality etc.)
3. Other (for more exotic things like hedge funds or real estate)

See a pattern yet? We want our PFC allocation to be thought of just like we would allocate our securities to our portfolio. A heavier weighting on the carbs just means more risk, which means you should be working out more.

Aspect 3: Holding Selection
Ok so we have our risk assessed and we also have what our asset allocation (nutrient allocation) will look. But those are just constructs. What do we physically PUT into these pie charts? That’s where the next level of due diligence comes in: Selection.

Just like your Investment Advisor would do research on companies to see if they are sound and valuable, you must do a little bit of research to ensure the types of PFC’s you’re putting in your body is efficient. We want to be eating the “Apple” or “GM” of carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes and brown rice. You don’t want to eat the unknown ‘penny stock’ like pop tarts.

Aspect 4: Shifts
We now have almost every aspect laid out. Risk tolerance, asset allocation, security selection (due diligence) and there’s just one more little item to mention….the icing on the cake, if you would (but don’t eat the icing). Shifts. Let’s say we have a very risky (Growth) nutritional program set. But we don’t work out that day. Well, think of this as the equivalent to some VERY risky or shaky markets. In cases of turbulence in the market, we don’t want to change our long-term goals, but we may want to ‘tweak’ our allocation that day to manage the environment. Maybe this sedimentary day we take a little away from carbs and add that to protein.

In this section, we can discuss supplementation as well. Some days, you may have trouble getting protein or certain foods. Maybe you’re traveling, or maybe you’re stuck in back-to-back meetings. Regardless of your situations, a protein shake or meal replacement bar can be used to help fulfill your asset allocation. This wouldn’t be a long term change, but more of a tactical move during your busy day.