How Sports Analytics Can Transform Your Investing

Ryan Crouser broke his own shot-put world record in May, thanks to a breakthrough...

He's a two-time Olympic champion, one-time world champ, Diamond League winner, and silver medalist in the world games.

He has had the kind of "hall of fame" career that every athlete dreams of when entering a sport. And now, Crouser is changing the whole game...

He's doing it by analyzing each piece of a successful shot put on its own... then putting the pieces back together, in the best way possible.

That analytical approach is useful to investors, too. And today, I'll share the three simple elements you can use to improve your own investment results...

A shot-put ring measures 7 feet in diameter. A competitor has to stay within that circle when throwing. Otherwise, that throw doesn't count.

That might not sound like a big deal... unless you're 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weigh 320 pounds, like Crouser. If that's you, that circle gets a lot smaller. You're tight on space to add more speed, momentum, and power to your throw.

Obviously, Crouser has found success anyway. Partly, that's because he's also a math guy...

He has an engineering background, along with a master's degree in finance. And he's always looking for a way to improve his approach in the circle.

In December, he started working on a new technique. It uses a "longer step, longer radius, longer acceleration path on the ball," as he shared in a Los Angeles Times interview.

Crouser knew those three factors were his path to better results. It was a simple formula for a more powerful throw... The challenge was to do it inside such a tight area.

So he changed his approach. His new goal was to start in the circle a little farther to the right. This gave him a wider first step. And he added a new step as well.

His "step across" technique gave him the bigger step and longer acceleration path he was looking for. And Crouser was able to showcase it at the Los Angeles Grand Prix in May...

His longest throw was 23.56 meters. That obliterated his previous record by 19 centimeters – and set a new world record, too.

During the event, Crouser threw six times in total. Three of those throws went more than 23 meters. Even his shortest throw of 22.8 meters still would have earned him the gold medal in the 2020 Olympics.

Though he originally called his move "the step-across," folks are now calling it "the Crouser slide."

When asked how far someone could throw the shot-put ball, he said...

I think 23.70 is very possible and a conservative estimate. I think 24 is humanly possible, it's just at that point you're kind of playing with magic and hoping to "catch lightning in a bottle."

Crouser has redefined the possibilities in an ancient sport using math. He broke down the factors that matter the most: the radius, the acceleration path of the ball, and the step.

That kind of analytical approach – homing in on what really matters – is a key to investment success, too.

This is exactly the type of approach I use in the markets. Our team has back tested thousands of combinations over decades to find the pieces that matter most in investing... the exact factors that do the most to improve our "throw."

If you're a longtime reader, you know these factors well: You want to buy assets that are "cheap, hated, and in an uptrend."

This is as simple as it sounds... We want to pay a low price. We want to buy what others have ignored (or downright hate). Most important, we always want to wait for prices to begin moving higher – before we act – to avoid catching a falling knife.

This trifecta allows us to play by a different set of rules than the traditional investors who stick to either "just value" or "just the trend." We can use the strengths of both strategies.

Plus, we're able to uncover opportunities that most other investors are missing. When you buy beaten-down assets before the crowd is interested, you know prices have plenty of room to run as the rest of the market catches on – which maximizes your potential upside.

Just like Crouser's new technique, it's a simple formula... But it often leads to outstanding performance. And if you put it to work in your own investing, I'm certain you'll improve your results.

Analytics work darn well in sports. Crouser is using it to transform shot put... And you can use similar ideas – like our "cheap, hated, and in an uptrend" formula – to transform the way you buy stocks.

Good investing,

Chris Igou

Further Reading

"I knew that minimizing those risks would help me stay safe in the world's deadliest wave," Chris writes. Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii is the world's most dangerous place to surf. That means preparation is crucial. And while you may not be risking your life in the stock market, the same is true for investors... Read more here.

Warren Buffett prefers to wait for the "fat pitch" before he invests. It's the same mindset that baseball legend Ted Williams used to boost his batting average. This approach requires incredible patience. But it's a great reminder to make sure the odds are in your favor before you take a swing... Learn more here.