Long distance runners know all about maintaining a steady pace. As we run, it’s about consistency and endurance. Achieving your financial goals is exactly the same thing—very much like running a marathon. It requires the same dedication, patience and commitment as a marathon. Some of your goals are short-term and others medium and long-term. So the whole process of investing for goals is an ongoing and continuous journey—not just a few transactions.
What you need to remember is that your objective is not about being the fastest runner over one race, but to maintain a steady pace for your entire journey—the marathon of life.
Set your goals, prioritise them to develop a strategy so you can start investing your money in six steps.
- Start with a plan – (no different than training for a 5km, 10km, or Marathon)
The plan starts with a distance goal in mind—5km, 10km or 42km. Any one of those goals start with a single step.
Sometimes the hardest part of the workout is deciding to start. But by putting on your shoes and lacing them up you have a call to action for a run. Similarly, investing can be overwhelming for investors as they often suffer because they tend to worry about the unknown. If you are an investor (or are thinking about investing), the best advice you can get is to start with a single step towards your financial journey.
Now that we have a plan…we are going to run!
- Create a training log – (financial training is the exact same thing!)
Not all runners are the same so the same training log cannot be used for all investors. If you are a natural runner and have a running base then you can jump into training in full force. But if you are less experienced in your training and running you will need time to progress. This is very much like investing. If you are experienced and have knowledgeable understanding of investing you can jump right into the process of investing. But if you are like most and do not have the understanding of investing then getting started will require the knowledge of your limitations. Once that information is in place it’s like a training log – the correct amount of investing can be done to start you down the path of creating a solid financial base thus creating the foundations of a solid financial plan.
- Run your own race (invest in a way that works for your future goals)
On race day, you never know what the other people’s goals are around you. Some are trying to set a new personal best time, while others are just trying to finish. You don’t compete with other runners. Ultimately, you’re only competing with yourself to have your best race. The same is true with investing. If your best friend putting all their money into Amazon, Google, or Gaming stocks—that may not be the best approach for you.
Investments are based on your personalized future plan, which you create for your financial success and it probably will not look like the investing plan of the person next to you.
- Your training discipline determines how you feel on race day (disciplined investing is always a great strategy)
Running various amounts of kilometres week after week can be gruelling, but the discipline can provide you the result you want on race day. The same can be said for investing: you have to be disciplined in your approach to your investing goals. Understanding that your current plan of investments is all about building a future and sticking to the plan with discipline. There will be setbacks (as there are always), peaks and valleys, but the long-term goal must remain the same.
- Pace yourself (investing for the long term always leads to your financial success)
When you finally reach your running goals after all the training is done you learn it’s all about pacing. In investing, you are in this race for a long time so stay true to your goals to reach financial success. Add to your portfolio in a measured ways, you may never land the hot tip that leads to instant financial success just as sprinting the first two kilometre in your race will only lead to suffering down the road.
Use the wisdom you’ve accrued in your running life to guide your financial steps to reaching your goals.
- Plan for the unexpected (The market is volatile your reaction does not have to be the same)
A stress fractures or other injury’s during training, race day weather—too hot, too cold, too windy—cramping at the halfway mark and having to walk, running out of fuel. . . these are all real obstacles that all runners face. Similarly, during your investment journey there will potentially be recessions, bear markets, countless liquidity crises, bank failures, rate hikes, inflation, and even deflation—just to name a few events that can trip up an investor. You can’t control the volatility of the markets, but you can control your reaction to it. Your portfolio is based on your assessment and personal needs to stay invested for the long run.
Ultimately, it’s your choice—so choose the winning formula that you’ve already learned in the practice of the sport we love.