Shock and astonishment were my feelings watching children as young as 8 compete with extreme focus and discipline in the USA Track & Field National Junior Olympics. At their age I was playing in the mud or climbing trees with no care of my future. Yet, here I was witnessing hundreds of young athletes along with my eleven year old son compete against the best competitors from across the country at the legendary Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The sight made my son’s dad and I tear up with pride. All our son’s intense training and disciplined eating at only age 11 allowed him to qualify to race at this memorable event of a lifetime.
Just like each of the young athletes trained tirelessly to qualify for those National Junior Olympics, executives and business owners like ourselves must embark on a journey of strategic financial planning to secure our own successful and prosperous future. Athletes train in preparation for the environment surrounding a competitive outdoor track knowing that it can change quickly on race day. As executives and business owners, it is crucial we also diversify investments to adequately prepare. Just as a young sprinter fine tunes various techniques to achieve peak performance, we must focus on a diverse investment strategy to maximize financial growth and protect their future financial freedom.
Examining the training strategies and discipline of the young athletes over those few days on that legendary field, I started to see 4 relatable key strategies that we as executives and business owners should implement for future financial success.
Step 1: Mastering the Basics - Sprinting towards Financial Education
Before a child can dream of becoming an Olympic sprinter, they must master the fundamental techniques of running. Similarly, executives and business owners must gain a solid understanding of financial concepts and investment options. Educating ourselves about different asset classes, risk tolerance, and investment vehicles. Seek advice from financial experts who can act as our coaching team, guiding us toward well-informed decisions. Just as a young athlete learns to run with proper form, financial education empowers us to make confident and informed investment choices.
Step 2: Asset Class Sprints - Diversifying Investments for Peak Performance
Like a child diversifying their training, engaging in various track and field events, executives and business owners must diversify our investment portfolio. Allocate funds across different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities. This diversification can help mitigate risks and optimize returns, allowing our financial strategy to excel even in turbulent markets. Similar to a young sprinter's training in different events, diversified investments provide a robust foundation for our financial goals.
Step 3: Risk Management Drills - Training for Financial Resilience
In track and field sprints, injuries are a common risk that athletes must manage. Similarly, in the financial world, there are inherent risks in any investment. Executives should focus on risk management by analyzing their risk appetite and incorporating risk-adjusted investment strategies. Allocating a portion of our portfolio to safer, low-risk assets, and another portion to higher-risk, higher-reward opportunities. This balanced approach ensures we are prepared for any hurdles that may arise along our financial journey.
Step 4: Sprinting Towards the Long-Term - Embracing a Marathoner's Mindset
An aspiring sprinter's goal may be Olympic glory, but they understand that progress takes time and consistent effort. Similarly, executives and business owners should adopt a long-term mindset when it comes to investing. Avoid chasing short-term market trends and instead focus on sustainable growth over the next decade and beyond. Embrace the power of compounding by reinvesting dividends and letting our investments grow steadily. Just as a young sprinter's dedication to training results in increased speed over time, a long-term investment approach can lead to significant financial gains.
Just like my youngest, his teammates and other USATF youth dedicate themselves daily to becoming elite athletes and aspiring Olympic sprinters, executives and business owners must channel our determination and focus into financial planning for a prosperous future. Diversifying investments is the key to success in both endeavors. Life can change quickly and therefore we must stay diligently prepared. By mastering financial basics, diversifying asset classes, managing risk, and adopting a long-term mindset, you can sprint toward financial success. Remember, like a young sprinter's dedication to mastering various aspects of their sport, diverse investments over time will empower us to not only achieve peak financial performance, it will also secure a rewarding future. While our older knees may not be fans of actual running, Let’s lace up our financial running shoes and start sprinting towards our financial goals today!