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How is financial planning like bicycle racing?

I follow bicycle racing pretty closely and one of the first things that surprised me was how much of a team sport it is. Every team goes into it with a strategy, there are support racers who bring water and food up to the racer they are trying to see win, these same guys cut the wind and allow the eventual winner to ‘draft’ off of them.

This got me thinking about financial planning. While some investors try to ‘go it alone,’ wise people engage the skills and knowledge of people around them. In the same way that a team will have a strategy, I have a plan with my clients based on goals and time frames that they provide.

I think information is like food and water; if you have it, it will sustain you even when the going gets tough. And the more sources for these things you have the better. I notice that many times I have access to more of it than just the newspaper and business channels.

And then there’s drafting. If you can be behind someone with access to more information and an ability to stick to the plan, it can make the going way easier.

The last thing I noticed is that when a team racer wins, everyone on that team celebrates. Sometimes you’ll see someone crossing the finish line with their arms raised in victory 20, 30 places behind the leader. Then you notice their jersey and realise that a team win is for everyone.