Who will you be rooting for in Super Bowl LIII on February 3rd – the Patriots or the Rams? Either way, you’ll be among millions of fans tuning in for the big game.

That means the pressure is on, for both teams. You’d think this would encourage players and coaches to give it everything they’ve got. By some measures, I’m sure they do. But I also believe there’s a secret weapon neither team will be taking advantage of: Forgoing the option to punt.

What if more coaches were willing to let convention-challenging research be their guide? They might end up featured in an HBO “Real Sports” segment. That’s what happened to Pulaski Academy Head Coach Kevin Kelley from Little Rock, Arkansas. He earned a reputation for being “the coach who never punts,” after he decided to heed the data, and employ an atypical tactic of almost always going for the fourth down instead of punting. Check out the trailer here:

Of course, we feel the same sort of data-driven strategy and disciplined perspective should be applied to your evidence-based investing. So do others, which is why our friends at AQR featured a conversation between AQR Principal Toby Moskowitz and the same Coach Kelley in one of their podcasts, “Hot Hands and Cold Feet.” (Fast-forward to minute 10:00 to hear the specific conversation.)

While we call Kelley evidence-based, others have called him “crazy,” “insane” or “mad scientist.” If he is, his results don’t show it. In his conversation with Moskowitz, Kelley notes his record at Pulaski Academy is 179 wins/25 losses, with seven state titles in the past 15 years.

Consider these insights as you enjoy Super Bowl LIII. Consider it, too, as you stick with your best-laid investment plans in our competitive markets. I say, go ahead and let others call you crazy, if that’s what it takes to achieve your personal financial goals.

Hill Investment Group