“The mind messes up more shots than the body.” – Tommy Bolt.
I like golf. Anybody who develops a taste for the game will agree that you can never love golf. It has a tendency to create utter frustration which usually leaves you hating the game for a short time. But then you have a great day at the course and your love for the game is re-ignited. Somewhere in between the frustration and love for golf is where I lie. Can you see the affiliation between golf and financial harmony – let me explain?
One hole does not define the round.
Have you ever played a round where you birdied one hole, then proceeded to bogey the remainder of the 17 holes? Similarly, making one financial gain will more than likely not seal your financial future. It takes a long-term strategy to achieve your goals.
Hazards exist on every hole.
The scorecard even points them out to you. Then why is it you find yourself in them. Perhaps it’s your over enthusiasm to drive over the dog leg, or lack of skill to avoid the sand trap. An individual needs to recognise their own limitations, be it time, knowledge, skill or a combination to avoid financial hazards.
Speaking of hazards, you want to avoid what is referred to as ‘target fixation’. At times, we become so fixated with a negative result, we either take no action or worse make mistakes as we become fixated with a potential undesirable eventuality rather than focusing on the original planned outcome. With the constant barrage of the 24-hour news cycle it is becoming more prevalent for investors to understand that not every supposed ‘hazard’ is the doom of their plan – look beyond the hard to the flag, which is the actual goal.
Time – I like par 5s.
Why – I usually need one shot to recover from a bad shot on any hole, and the par 5 always affords that opportunity. Think of the number of strokes allowed as a factor of time. The more strokes you can play on a hole, the better your chances to reach the cup. On the other hand, a par 3 limits you to setting up your tee shot to be on the green with two to putt. As we get older and look to setup our financial future, we need to start playing with lesser time, which means our financial plan needs to be more refined to achieve our goals.
Keep out the noise.
Concentrate on your own game. Golf is a game played against your own mind and self. Trying to then beat your opponent usually leads to your mind becoming filled with thoughts detrimental to your own game. By focusing on your own plan, you will find that your own. Don’t take the last barbecue advice on what you should be doing as gospel – most people have no idea what you are trying to achieve.
Lastly, don’t forget the caddie. You see them provide the guidance to the pro. If a professional golfer needs to turn to someone to get an opinion, it’s their caddie. He has all the information i.e. distances, slopes, hazards etc., the pro consults with the caddy’s information, makes the decision and then executes the shot.
Unless you are fully armed with all financial information, do you think it wise to invest based on hearsay or limited information?