A new marathon has been announced this year. We will see the inaugural Shrewsbury Marathon take place in June and given the publicity it has already received, I imagine it will be a popular event.

So how does one go about training for such a day and what implications does this have for your investments? Well bear with me, as thing there are some similarities. The important point for me is having a plan and sticking with it, whether you are talking marathon or investments.

The runner establishes how many weeks they have left until the marathon and formulates a set plan to get them from their current condition to marathon-ready and then has to follow it diligently. If the weather is particularly warm one week, success does not allow for the runner to suddenly double up their number of runs to enjoy the sun as that could cause an injury and mean that their training is ruined for the whole season. So the intention is to have a set agenda and to stick to it.

In many ways an investment strategy is the same, as you cannot let the volatility of a stockmarket put you off your plan. Many people, when the market looks positive and roars ahead, think that this is a time to divert from their plan and invest even more, only to regret it when the market then falls back again. One of the keys to successful investment is to listen to the noise of what happens in markets day by day, but not to be taken in by it.

A plan is something to follow in order to give yourself the chance of achieving success, whether you are training for a 26 mile run or building up a successful investment strategy. So we all have an interesting year ahead!