How to play for keeps

Football can teach you lessons which work in busi­ness and fi­nance, too

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

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