What I learned about Investing from Metallica & Megadeth

In the early 1980s, a talented young guitarist was kicked out of his band. The band had just been signed to their first record contract, and they were preparing to record their first album. A week before recording began, they fired the guitarist. There was no warning, no discussion. The guitarist woke up one day and was handed a bus ticket home.

The guitarist was demoralized. At the most crucial moment of the band’s short career, he was abandoned by those he trusted the most.

So he vowed to start a band of his own. He would start a band so amazing and so successful that his old band would regret ever firing him. He would become so famous that they would spend the rest of their lives thinking about what a horrible mistake they had made. His ambition would make them pay for their disrespect.

He recruited new musicians and wrote and rehearsed diligently. Within a couple years, his new band had signed a record contract of their own and was taking off.

The guitarist’s name was Dave Mustaine, and the band he formed was called Megadeth. Megadeth would go on to sell over 25 million albums and tour the world many times over. Today, Mustaine is considered one of the most brilliant and influential musicians in all of heavy metal music.

Unfortunately, the band he was kicked out of was called Metallica. Metallica has since sold over 180 million albums worldwide, and they are considered by many to be the greatest heavy metal band of all time.

And because of this, in a rare intimate interview in 2003, a tearful Mustaine admitted that he couldn’t help but still consider himself a failure at times. Despite all he had accomplished, he was still the guy who got kicked out of Metallica. Tens of millions of albums sold. Concerts performed in stadiums full of screaming fans. Millions of dollars earned. And yet, a failure.

When it comes to investing, just as in life, it’s important to be clear about ‘what’s important about money to you’ and how you intend to measure success.  The purpose of investing should be to meet your personal and pre-determined objectives.  It shouldn’t matter what everyone else is doing or what they’re able to achieve.  What matters is whether your portfolio provides for your unique goals.

“Investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.” – Benjamin Graham


Our investment philosophy does exactly that – it begins with you.  We start by clarifying your investment goals and time frames and seek to solve two key issues:

  • To construct a portfolio that produces sufficient returns to achieve your unique goals with certainty your living expenses or savings targets; and
  • A portfolio suited to your unique risk tolerance. In other words, it’s not so risky to cause you to panic and sell at the bottom of the market and not so conservative to cause you to feel left behind when the market is running.

It’s simple but not easy.  As humans, we’re hard-wired for comparison.  We’re constantly trying to gauge how we measure up to those around us.  Being hard-wired, this innate part of our nature is unlikely to change any time soon.  But robust processes and investment structures are critical to ensure you have a framework upon which to base all investment decisions.

To find out more about the Wotherspoon Wealth investment approach or request a copy of our Investment Philosophy, contact one of our award winning advisers today!


Disclaimer: All information in this article is intended to be general in nature for discussion purposes only. So you should not rely on it and seek personalised professional advice before making any decision.