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Tips for Successful Investing: Play Like You Practice

Is Smart Investing Like Playing Basketball? If Your Goal Is to Win, Then YES!

Smart investing, and building wealth for your retirement, is not just about economics – it also involves establishing and using transferable soft skills and principles from all walks of life. While you may not be an investment pro, you probably do have skills you have developed in other parts of your life that can help your investment approach.

Have you played in or coached competitive sports? I have coached recreational basketball for 15 years while also working as a financial professional, and I have come to see the parallels between playing basketball and successful objective-driven investing.

Let’s look more closely at how playing like you practice can benefit not only your game on the hardwood but also as you seek to build retirement wealth and a successful retirement plan.

Play Like You Practice: What Does It Mean?

Play like you practice may sound simple, but it is probably the most important standard of excellence that all good teams work toward.

Put another way – outworking your practice means outworking your opponent. The effort you put into practice directly translates into how well you do when the game buzzer sounds.

As I tell my players, no team even wins by accident. Teams win because they put themselves in a position to achieve greatness. This means they are methodical and structured, that they work according to a plan, and that they are driven by the will to succeed and the conviction that anything less than the highest standard of excellence is unacceptable. Put in a half-hearted effort, and you will get a half-hearted result.

What Does Practice Have to Do With Investing?

Successful investing, it turns out, is a lot like successful sports training and practice. No one ever reached their retirement goals by accident.

For example, maybe you are thinking about retirement in 20 years. You are not going to reach your retirement goals after just one year  – this is a long-term process. Just like in a game, you break your strategy out into sections, or quarters, and treat each one individually.

This might involve committing money each month to your 401(k) or a Roth IRA. By making a methodical investment every month, without fail, you can see small gains add up to a substantial amount. By working with a professional wealthy advisor, you can stay on top of economic trends and market factors and proactively manage your account instead of just making reactive adjustments. A coach would do the same – offering advice from a professional perspective and a broader view from the sidelines. All of this goes toward your goal of winning – or achieving your goal of a financially secure retirement.

Retirement Wins Don’t Come All at Once –
You Need to Practice Today

Achieving long-term goals is a proactive process. While the winning basketball team may be the one with a trophy and the chance to cut the net down, they really won by practicing every day, staying focused, and remaining committed to their goals. They did not just win a game – they won on and off the court over the course of months, and maybe even years.

Every year, every month, every week, and every day, your goal should simply be to push the bar just a bit higher than the day before. Are there temporary setbacks? Sure there are. But by being committed to practice, practice, and practice, your chances of success on the court will increase dramatically.

Athletes condition their bodies in the gym and on the court. Investors should condition their minds by being involved, learning, and engaging with their advisors.

Would you like an investment coach to help you toward this win? I see myself as my client’s coach, and our goal is to cut down a retirement net own day. If you are not on the team, then give us a call, and let’s start working toward your championship.

*David R. Guttery, RFC, RFS, CAM, is a financial advisor and has been in practice for 31 years. He is the president of Keystone Financial Group in Trussville, Ala. David offers products and services using the following business names:  Keystone Financial Group – insurance and financial services | Ameritas Investment Company, LLC (AIC), Member FINRA / SIPC – securities and investments | Ameritas Advisory Services – investment advisory services.  AIC and AAS are not affiliated with Keystone Financial Group. Information provided here is gathered from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. This information should not be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Past performance is not an indicator of future results.

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