Make a financial plan
at your next football match

Arsenal managed to win the FA Cup Final this year, but you can be sure that they wouldn't have achieved this without a lot of strategic planning, adapted both on and off the pitch according to prevailing conditions.

The same approach can – and frankly should – be applied to your own financial planning. While it may seem strange to say, there is a lot more in common between proceeding through the stages of a cup competition in football and your approach to managing your money than you might imagine.

Identify your goal

No, this does not mean which end of the pitch you are playing towards, but your ultimate financial goal. For example, in the FA Cup each team’s ultimate goal is to win the cup. So, to reach your own financial goal, you first need to know what it is. Retirement planning? Saving for school fees? Paying off the mortgage in years to come?

Whatever it is you are trying to achieve, there will be a variety of competing aims you need to consider alongside it. For a football team, the FA Cup may be one of a variety of achievements they are aiming for, as they will also be playing in the league championship, possibly the UEFA championship – and each may be as vital to them in the short term as another.

Be flexible to address the short-term challenges

For your financial planning, you may have an ultimate aim of a comfortable retirement, but along the way you will have competing aims – buying a house, having children, covering the cost of weddings, dealing with redundancy, and so on. Each of these would have the potential to divert your attention significantly from your ultimate aim. So it is vital to be strategic and focused in your financial planning, the way a team is when competing in various leagues and cups.

You must consider your financial position throughout each life stage, and it might mean you need to re-evaluate your financial strategy in light of challenges you face. For example, a football team may have a star player who gets injured at a crucial part of the season and it costs them dearly in the various competitions they are in. Just like a redundancy would have the ability to derail your long-term plans if it is not dealt with effectively.

Get the right team behind you

But, like a player coming back from injury, your financial plan is more likely to be kept on track if you are working with the right team. Yes, footballers are like gods on the pitch to many people, but there are a large number of experts in the background who are making sure they are fit, healthy, and recovering quickly enough from injury. They have the best training staff, top psychologists, expert physios, sports scientists – without them, they would not be able to perform at the top level.

Your financial health is no different. You need to have the right team of advisers in place to help you get the results you want. They need to be knowledgeable and able to ensure your finances reach their optimum performance throughout each life stage, so your ultimate aim is more likely to be achieved.

Be reactive

Imagine a football team that had a single plan, never adapting according to who they were playing, what the weather was like, or injuries to star players - this wouldn't exactly take them very far. Just the same, your financial plan must be adaptable to your changing circumstances.

With more than 25 years of experience and over 160 advisers nationwide, AFH Wealth Management is one of the UK’s leading financial firms.

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