Financial Football

Av Randolph Samuel @ Lucid Living™

Ever wondered about what happens off the soccer pitch? By that I mean the preparation that the team goes through before any match. A team’s performance (win or lose) on the field is a direct result of their preparation. Sir Alex Ferguson (Manager of Manchester United) was quoted saying “winning is 80% planning and 20% execution”.

We ask what is in that planning, and can it reveal any lessons for good personal financial planning?

The Financial Management Game Plan

1.    Determine your position
Not unlike soccer, you need to know what your strengths and capabilities are and play to those. If you can’t score goals, don’t be an attacking forward.

Know your current financial position, including:

  • income and expenses;
  • assets and liabilities;
  • whether you are over-indebted or not; and
  • your level of knowledge and exposure to financial management.

2.    Assemble the right team
No match is won on the effort and talent of just one player. The full backs, midfielders and attackers must all work as a cohesive unit.

Financial management and planning also requires a myriad of skills. It is unlikely that you can do it all. Seek out the right people and assemble a winning team. You cannot afford to be without:

  • a financial planner;
  • an attorney;
  • a financial/money coach;
  • an economist; and
  • a relentless desire to keep abreast of markets and new developments.

I’m not suggesting you go out and personally enlist these professionals. Instead, find a company that has these skills, experience and a track record. You role in this team is of vital importance – like any other player. So don’t ignore your responsibility to actively participate.

3.    Have a game plan
In soccer, winning is not the game plan, but rather the outcome of a game plan successfully executed. A team facing a superior attacking squad must intensify their defence and severely restrict the opposing team’s goal scoring opportunities. That game plan may allow for a valuable draw or a goal on the break and victory.

Based on your:

  • current financial position;
  • financial means and prospects;
  • risk profile; and
  • desired financial outcome,

the team can craft the most appropriate and viable game plan.

4.    Be committed, passionate and play to win
A great game plan in-itself, does not ensure victory. The outcome of any soccer match is determined by the attitude and performance of the team, in executing the game plan.

Financial success is dependent on your resolute commitment to the game plan. You cannot afford to waiver, renege or call for a stretcher. Bear in mind, its ninety minutes on the field but a lifetime on the market. Wealth creation takes time – in fact it never ends, the landscape just changes. The fundamentals, however, are the same – commitment, determination and perseverance. You need to believe in your financial goals and be passionate about achieving them. Accept that you have an active role to play and that you determine your success or demise.

Remember, the kick-off for your financial game may already have begun. Depending on your financial position and age, you may well be playing the second half or even extra time. Don’t procrastinate, financial success is only achievable if you take action.