One time in your life, attend a Texas A&M Aggies football game. There’s a lesson.
The lesson isn’t that it’s pretty great to get fired as a Division One football coach and earn generational wealth. Now, had I known, I might have focused more on sports with a career aim toward getting fired from the athletics department of a big school. After a 51-10 victory over Mississippi State Saturday, the Aggies canned coach Jimbo Fisher. Price: $75 million.
Has failure ever been more fantastic?
No, that’s not the lesson.
By the way, I ran into an NFL quarterbacks coach in the gondola at Steamboat Springs last season. Can’t remember his name but I looked him up. He’s legitimate. He was on his third firing and loving life. Skiing. Free time. Homes in TN and Steamboat.
The reason you should attend an Aggies game is it’s a rapturous spectacle. Karen’s longtime college friend is Associate Athletics Director and head of TV productions for all A&M athletics.
We had a private tour of Kyle Field last Friday night down in Aggieland. He’s the guy who orchestrates the footage you see on ESPN. And the booming, pounding, pyrotechnic stadium entry that kicks off an Aggies home game. Smoke, flames, deafening music, the team bursting from the tunnel and out of the smoke like Armageddon’s destroyers.
You feel pretty good about yourself as an Aggies fan. Your adrenaline is up, you’re cheering, you feel invincible.
And then promptly Miss. State returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
No, the lesson isn’t don’t get cocky, although that’s always good advice.
You’re stunned. Walloped in the gut.
There’s a lesson. Success is not adrenaline. And getting punched in the gut is not the end.
The Aggies got it together on the manicured Kyle Field lawn below the $12mm luxury suites and dropped the hammer on the boys from Starkville. The farmers fought (a little inside humor if you know the Aggies yells).
Really, the Aggies executed. Not superbly. But they focused on the basics and walked away with the game.
The biggest lesson? Results matter.
Jimbo Fisher won the battle but lost the war, on results. The Aggie alumni, buttressed by deep-pocketed tycoons from industry, energy, agriculture, who gave billions of dollars to create the Great Coliseum of central Texas where the Aggies play, expect more.
We investor-relations people in our coaching roles supporting the c-suite and Board can learn a lesson here too.
We don’t have pyrotechnics and billion-dollar production studios. We have knowledge of the markets. And they’re the opposite of football where the best record counts. And here’s the rub: do results matter?
Marc Rowan, Apollo Global Management CEO, said there’s no alpha in US public equities. We’re all leveraged to five growth stocks and the Fed, he said.
And see markets Nov 14. Inflation data has nothing to do with corporate fundamentals. The S&P 500 jumped nearly 2%.
What always follows inflation?
What the Federal Reserve does is frankly inconsequential to inflation, which will always mean-revert, like the stock market. And mean-reversions often over-correct. In a sense, results don’t matter.
IR people, we’re not going to somehow with our individual stories, our results, out-clout the Fed. And the BIG money sloshes on Big Tech and the Federal Reserve. If you take a long step back and look at your trading, especially if you’re midcap to large cap, the slosh of money is vastly more impactful than your results.
Weird. But a statistical, measurable, fact.
And the trouble with slowing inflation data is that it’s pelting toward deflation – which is awesome for consumers, terrible for governments. If businesses want to sell stuff, they put it on sale. Deflation. Deals for consumers. Purchasing power.
If governments want to sell stuff, they print money and give it to people. Inflation. No deals for consumers, everything costs more. No purchasing power.
So stocks and the economy are rushing past each other now, going in opposite directions. No matter what the data seem to show. See the paragraph right before this one.
IR people, this is the market we’re in. The best results we can deliver for our c-suite, Board, shareholders, is to get our companies as close to the herd, the big money, as we can. That’s the opposite of what our profession has been about for 50 years, I know. If you want to know more, go here and see our capabilities.
We can’t fire the Fed like it’s Jimbo Fisher. Not that that would get us back to the old way of doing IR.
But we can adapt to the market we’ve got. Oh, and options expire and reset today through next Wednesday. Is inflation data more powerful than derivatives resets? Let’s find out.