How our Olympic heroes can help us all plan

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 26th October 2016.

Last week our Olympic heroes from the Rio Games enjoyed enormously well deserved parades through the streets of London and Manchester.

Whenever I read the stories of elite athletes, I’m always reminded about the parallels their journeys have with successful lifestyle financial planning.

The likes of Dame Sarah Storey, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill don’t just turn up, throw on their Team GB clobber and turn into sporting gods. The hard work is done behind the scenes. Away from the spotlight, over years and years of training, preparation and planning where the foundations for their greatness are laid out.

Even in individual sports there is always a team behind successful athletes.

Just look at Andy Murray. He has a great team. A coach, a fitness adviser, a PR manager, a nutritionist and no doubt somewhere away from the court, a financial planner too. He’s surrounded himself with experts.

Every great athlete made a decision to act somewhere along the way.

With Murray it was taking the bold step to decide to move from Scotland to Spain as a youngster to benefit from better coaching. It certainly paid off and was the first part of his plan to become a top tennis star.

With Ennis-Hill it was the decision to use her various sporting skills in the Heptathlon rather than one discipline in particular. She’s just retired as one of our greatest sporting icons so that move can be filed in the ‘Great Decision’ folder.

It’s the same with financial planning. The first step is to be decisive. Realise it’s time to do something, do it and start to take control.

But action has to be driven by a plan.

Just like an athlete will sit down with their coaching team to plot out training routines and establish goals, a good financial planner does the same with his or her clients.

Once the training has started, a top coach will monitor and tweak the routines and sessions to enable improvements in the athlete’s performances.

In just the same manner, a financial planner will regularly review how his or her client's lifestyle financial plan is performing and meeting their expectations.

As the old saying goes ‘success leaves clues’. It’s no coincidence that well thought out, decisive and regularly monitored financial plans leave people with a sense of control and confidence about their financial future.

In just the same way that a top athlete who has put in the hard work, planning and effort feels totally prepared and ready in the moments before their race or their match where their date with sporting greatness begins.