Colin Zizzi: Insights on Investing
We had the pleasure to connect with Colin Zizzi, a former professional soccer player who currently works as a financial advisor. Colin has experience playing both overseas and in the states and has seen how emotions can affect how one may invest. We were fortunate enough to have Colin share some of his thoughts below....
From a young age I had a passion for business and investing. I knew long term I wanted to have a career in finance, but I was not sure what exactly that would look like. It was a complete coincidence that the owner in Harrisburg had his own financial services firm. I ended up having a conversation with him the first season I was there and have been working for him as an independent financial advisor ever since. I just hit my fifth year and completed my CFP® designation in March of this year.
I specialize in working with 401k plans for businesses, and creating financial plans for individuals.
The last few years, I have been learning more about behavioral finance, or how different emotional, social and psychological factors can affect peoples’ financial decisions. Some of these decisions can have a huge impact on long-term financial health.
Loss Aversion: People respond differently to financial losses and gains. On average, people feel the impact of a financial loss about twice as much as a gain. This often leads people to buy or sell investments at the wrong time, or might cause someone to hold onto a poor performing investment longer than they should. This relates to athletes, who often invest in restaurants or other risky business ventures that turn out to be poor investments. It is often hard for them to decide when is the right time to pull the plug on a bad investment.
Choice Overload: One of the biggest obstacles for athletes and people in general, is figuring out where to get started with investing. Many studies show that when faced with an overwhelming number of choices, investors often default to doing nothing. Starting to invest through a 401k plan is a great way to break through this barrier. By making regular contributions through a 401k, an investor is dollar cost averaging into the market and taking market timing out of the equation.
Portfolio Turnover: The 24/7 access to news has caused investors to overweight the effects of certain events on their portfolios. This is one factor, along with the rise of technology, which has lead to an increase in portfolio turnover for investors.
“According to the NYSE Factbook, the average holding period for stocks in 1960 was 100 months (8 years). By 1970 it had dropped to 63 months (5 years). By 1980 it had dropped to 33 months, by 1990 to 26 months, by 2000 to just 14 months, and in 2010 just six months.”
Portfolio turnover can increase transaction costs and often times hurts investment performance. In my opinion, creating a sound financial plan and taking the long-term view to managing your portfolio is the best way to build and protect your wealth.
Two awesome books on decision making and behavioral finance:
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Nudge by Richard Thaler
After graduating from American with specializations in International Finance and Accounting, Zizzi had an opportunity to move abroad to Madrid, Spain. He started a business course through American University abroad called “Managing and Marketing Football clubs in Spain.” The course focused on the intersection of business and soccer. He worked through American University as a teaching assistant, and one of the contacts he met through the program helped him sign with a Tercera Division club in Madrid called Vallecas CF. After playing with this club for a season and half he returned home and signing in USL with Harrisburg, where he played for three seasons.