Markets

Video: Method in the madness

Nick Kirrage, Value Fund Manager at Schroders, takes on the Marathon Des Sables: a six-day, 254km ultra-marathon in the Saharan Desert.

03/09/2018

The Value Perspective team

Nick Kirrage, Value Fund Manager at Schroders, ran the equivalent of five and a half marathons in 6 days in the Marathon Des Sables.

In this gruelling multi-stage adventure, branded by the Discovery Channel as the ‘Toughest Footrace on Earth’, everyone has to carry everything they need to survive, minus water and a tent, for the complete duration of the race. 

Complete madness? Yes. Just another ambitious city professional hell-bent on abusing his body? Possibly. But Nick's motivation was beyond masochism.

As a value fund manager he is very process oriented, adhering to the team's '7 Red Questions' to decide on whether a stock is worth investing in. The process is sytematic and repeatable. Something incredibly useful in unpredictable markets.

No matter what the markets throw at them, by trying to remove behavioural biases and following their distinct process the team stands the best chance of maintaining a favourable portfolio. 

Like the markets, the Marathon Des Sables is similarly unpredictable. Weather, injuries, nutrition and terrain were just some of the many variables to plan for. The challenge was, for Nick, he couldn't plan for everything.

It’s a bit like planning for the birth of your child. You sit down and create a birthing plan listing which hospital to go to, what you’ll need, what pain relief your partner may take etc. Of course, on the day the list goes out of the window and you just tackle what’s in front of you at the time. [Nick Kirrage]

Nick wanted to see how far he could step outside his comfort zone in an environment where a process could only take him so far and in turn, mentally become a better fund manager.  

See Nick in action here: