We lost a good one recently.

Neil Peart, perhaps the greatest drummer of all time, and key member of the band Rush (a pretty good band for a bunch of Canadian farm boys!), had an incredibly stylish yet technically precise style that is still, to this day, unique and unrivalled. Rolling Stone, the great rock-n-roll magazine, said it best:

"His drum fills on songs like “Tom Sawyer” were pop hooks in their own right, each one an indelible mini-composition; his lengthy drum solos, carefully constructed and packed with drama, were highlights of every Rush concert."

If you have seen Rush play live, you know what they are talking about: pure rhythmic, thunderous, dynamic magic.

Throughout his career, Peart put in the time to continuously improve his "magic" by always asking himself how to be a better drummer. As an example, in the early 1990's, Peart become frustrated and bored with his drumming style. He wanted more "soul" in his drumming after listening to the drum stylings of late great Buddy Rich. Not being able to get the sound he wanted, he sought the counsel and teaching of Freddie Gruber, the beat guru to professional drummers.

Think about that for a second.

Here was Neal Peart in 1994, already considered the best drummer in the world by many music experts, seeking help through a teacher in order to improve his craft. It's noteworthy, and it worked - he achieved the soulful style he was looking for.

With the fantastic investment returns we have enjoyed in capital markets recently, it is easy to feel like you have mastered the investment craft like Peart mastered drumming. It seems like all you need to do is buy an S&P 500 Index or technology exchange traded fund and enjoy the ride. You look and feel like an investment professional, a genius. However, these easy times are fleeting. No matter what your level of expertise is, there is always something to learn and ways to improve. There are always folks smarter than you to seek out for guidance on how to develop and grow.

As investment professionals, we do that by doubling down on our reading and seeking out those who are smarter than we are, have different perspectives and opinions, to learn from them. For most market participants that are not professionals, it really does pay to seek out investment and financial advisors that can help with creating wealth plans, proper asset allocations, and behavioral psychology. It is that last area where a professional can often help the most. It is very easy to be in the market today with these great investment returns. It is when things take a turn for the worse, when most non-professionals need emotional support to stay in the market and not acting in short-sighted ways that could negatively impact their long-term investment outcomes.

If you are non-professional investor and think investing is easy these days, be like Peart and get yourself a teacher to really help you improve and reach your full long-term investment potential. 


Photo by Josh Sorenson from Pexels.