How to play for keeps
Football can teach you lessons which work in business and finance, too
WHEN the opportunity came along to join Port Adelaide, I couldn’t have been more rapt. My old man was a keen supporter of the club in his day and from the time I was a kid holding his hand on the boundary line, I was on board.
Plus, the role married two of my favourite things: footy and business. And the more time I spend around football and observing successful coaching from different clubs, I realise how many valuable skills the two fields share.
So I thought we’d move away from finance this week to look at the lessons to learn from successful football coaches.
BUILD A TEAM AROUND YOUR STARS
Just as the Travis Boaks, Buddy Franklins and Jarryd Rougheads turn up week after week with consistent quality performances, investors need to put quality investments at the core of their portfolio and build their portfolio around them.
That’s not to say you can throw darts at the board after that in the hope of landing the next Dane Swan, because speculating is a dangerous game in investing. But if you do have quality investments at the foundation, the others can complement them, rather than be relied on to carry the portfolio. FOCUS ON THE GAME BEFORE YOU The old coaches’ cliche is to “take it one week at a time”. And while this sounds like a cop- out to avoid looking too far ahead, it’s a rock solid approach that carries weight in investing too.
As John Longmire or Ross Lyon will tell you, there’s not a lot of value in dwelling on the past or looking too far into the future, because to deliver your best performance you need to be completely focused on the game in front of you.
The same goes for smart investing. Don’t anchor your investment decisions in the past – whether that’s the price you paid for something or the past performance of a company – because that information rarely matters. Put your energy into making the best decision for the future based on the situation you’re in today. RECRUIT COACHES WHO COMPLEMENT YOUR SKILL SET Just as every successful coach surrounds themselves with specialists in each facet of the game, every investor should leverage the expertise of people who know the investing world better than they do.
This is important for casual investors, who often shy away from professional advice. It might be paying for property inspections or getting the guidance of a sharp equities adviser, but recognise your strengths and weaknesses and use experts that complement your skill set. DEVELOP YOUR OWN STYLE OF PLAY Similar to how Port pursues a high- tempo game to leverage their youth and the Hawks kick a lot to take advantage of their great foot skills, find an investing style that suits you.
This means building a portfolio according to your risk profile, age and goals. Recognise how comfortable you are taking on risk, plan your investments to deliver the financial support you need at different stages of your life, and set firm goals to work toward and guide the way you invest.
I reckon I’ve become a better businessperson for my short time being involved in the AFL. Hopefully, taking on board a few of these lessons, you can become a better investor, too.
STAR TREATMENT: Pick quality investments like Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak.