Pattie's Blog: Links between golf, investing
Published Wednesday, May 9, 2012 9:55AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 7, 2012 12:59PM EDT
I love golfing...
It is that time of year when golf lovers can't wait to hit the links. I just love to play but I'm really not that good. Having said that, a few years back I invited the boss out for a round and actually beat him. I know what you are thinking, strategically that wasn't my best career move and you are probably right. However, I still work for him today and in the subsequent four years that we have gone out on our annual date -- he has creamed me.
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The fact is, I got lucky and had probably my best round ever. I should have quit when I was ahead and not falsely believed that I was better then I actually was. Luck can trump ability and that can be a dangerous thing not only in golf but in investing.
As I watch great golfers there are things they have in common -- sound fundamentals like the grip, swing, head down, impact, follow-through, etc.
Fundamentals are also the foundation of a strong financial plan. Warren MacKenzie on the show last week explained how you need to get excited about your goals and be clear what type of return and time horizon you need to achieve them. Like golfers it takes discipline, focus and commitment to realize your dreams.
Top golfers in the world have coaches and I truly believe that a financial advisor is like a coach. They will help guide you, tweak your plan and help you stay on track.
Seasoned golfers do not take unnecessary risks. Pros don't gamble -- they would never try a shot in competition that they haven't practiced.
Successful investors understand and respect their tolerance for risk. Unlike in golf, there are no mulligans with investing so take the time to understand the type of products you are investing in and look for savings from your discretionary spending to save for matters to you the most.
In golf you need a game plan for every round you play, you stick to it and yet you are ready to adapt if things are not working. Golf is a game of millimetres. Both your long and short game can make or break a round.
In investing you also need a plan that will focus on your short, medium and long term plans. Be prepared to analyze and adjust as the situation dictates. Small changes can yield huge results.
As I try to tie lessons from the links to investing it gives 'going for the green' a whole new meaning. The traits I've found in successful golfers are also found in successful investors. They have intuition, discipline, sound fundamentals, will seek out expert advice and on occasion will take the occasional high risk, potentially high reward play.
As I close, I will now extent an open invitation to boss for our annual round of golf...
Pattie Lovett-Reid is the host of The Pattie Lovett-Reid Show which airs on CTV News Channel at 8 p.m. ET on Thursdays. You can also interact with Pattie directly during Lunch With Pattie, a livechat that begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursdays at ctv.ca/askpattie