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What do sports competitions teach us about investing?

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Ready to cheer for your favourite team at the Six Nations and be amazed by athletes at the Winter Olympics? Sports competitions are amazing events which bring people together and teach the world important values, like fair play and hard work. The lifestyle, commitment and mental tenacity of professional athletes can teach us a lot too, even when it comes to managing money. Here are 5 investing lessons we can learn from sports.

 

Adopt good habits
Taking an Olympic medal home requires commitment and extensive training. Not only do athletes have to respect a tight schedule, they also need to follow a highly-controlled and healthy diet. Investing also requires some dedication. As you plan to invest your money, you might have to sacrifice some spending and start budgeting, which calls for discipline. Like figure skaters who wake up every day at 4:30am and train at least 3 times a day, you might need to add a little rigour to your lifestyle, so you can achieve your investment dreams.

 

Have a strategy
No sports team or person can win without tactics. If you decide to invest, you could take an athlete’s approach. Decide on your personal aims - what do you want to invest your money for? Whether it’s a house or your children’s future, think about the amount of money you want to invest, how long for, and the level of risk you’re willing to take. You might need to adjust your plan too, if things change, or it’s not working out, in the same way a football team might change tactics if they were losing.

 

Get the right help
Coaches play an important role in sports; they shape and implement strategies, as well as advise and support their players. Put simply, athletes and teams rarely succeed on their own, a bit like investors. When you invest your money, you could get support from a specialist service. If you want a helping hand to reach your goals, a digital investment service, like Wealthify, can build your portfolio, based on your investing style, and manage your plan daily.

 

Risks can pay off
In sports, if you don’t try, you won’t fail… but you won’t win either. Taking risks is part and parcel of competitive sports. Athletes are encouraged to go beyond their comfort zone, and although they know they might lose, the prospect of winning, makes the risk worth taking. In 2014, the French pole vaulter, Renaud Lavillenie, set the bar at 6.16 metres and cleared the height on his first try, breaking the absolute world record. Investing carries risk too. When you invest money, you can end up with less than you originally put in. However, you can also potentially get high returns. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re willing to take that risk.

 

Be patient
In sports, it takes years for athletes to see results and reach the top. Serena Williams didn’t become the champion she is today overnight. She had to (and still has to) face daily struggles to be at the top of her game. When you invest, think long-term and be aware that the road might not be perfectly smooth. The key is to remain patient and let your money work as hard as it can. Your investing journey might be long and bumpy, but at the end you could become a winner.

 

Please remember, investments can go down in value and you could receive back less than invested.

 

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The comments and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and should not be taken as financial advice from Wealthify.

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