Learn from the Most Successful Flop Ever

March 8, 2024

The following post has been adapted from Dynamic advisor Patrick Huey’s “This Week in History” blog. Huey is the owner and principal advisor of Victory Independent Planning, a boutique firm offering portfolio management, retirement planning and charitable gifting strategies.

By Patrick Huey, CFP®, CAP®, ATP 

On March 6, 1947, Richard Douglas Fosbury was born in Portland, Oregon.

As a youngster, Fosbury finds that he is average at every high jump technique but his own. The physics of his method allow him to run faster and convert more potential energy into upward motion by turning his back to the bar and “flopping” over it.

Using the technique at Medford High School in Oregon, Fosbury earns a partial college scholarship at Oregon State University—sight unseen. But his college coach tries to steer him back to orthodoxy, growing tired of the jokes, often from the staff at the rival University of Oregon. Fosbury has the last laugh, setting collegiate and American records on his way to winning an Olympic gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. Since 1980, no one using any other method than the “Fosbury flop” has held the world record in the high jump.

According to Wikipedia, Fosbury is considered one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. Winning the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, he revolutionized the high jump with his “back-first” technique now known as the Fosbury flop.

Here is the history lesson that I wrote just last year:

“Learn from the most successful flop ever! Just because everyone else is doing things the same old way, that doesn’t mean you should. A certain amount of flexibility is needed in sports and life. As interest rates rise, that’s bad news for spenders looking for cheap credit. But it’s probably the best time in two decades to be a saver. Look for rates on things like savings and CDs to be less of a joke than they were a year ago. And as the bond market resets, it too can add some potential energy where there was none at this time in 2022.”

Yes, all of that’s happened and more. Add T Bills and fixed annuities to the list of conservative investments paying the best rates in almost a generation. Welcome to the renaissance of the conservative investor, brought to you by high interest rates. Don’t turn your back on the “conservative renaissance.” In closing:  ​

2024 Ongoing Trends: Markets, Inflation, Taxes 

  • U.S. credit card delinquencies are rising.
  • A record-high share of consumers say it is MUCH HARDER to obtain credit.
  • Personal spending is cooling…still growing but at a slower rate.
  • In places like Chicago and San Francisco, big city office vacancy rates are at all-time highs. Trouble for banks?
  • Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings are rising.
  • Bank lending is declining rapidly.
  • Employment growth is slowing, and jobless claims are rising.
  • The economy will continue slowing, inflation will remain sticky, and rates will likely remain high. Returns may be muted in such an environment. But it’s a great time to be a conservative investor.

Wait, what?

Patrick Huey is an investment advisor representative of Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba Victory Independent Planning, LLC. All investment advisory services are offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors.

Photo: Adobe Stock