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Baseball lessons for your finances

Advice offered by Marc Hébert, president of The Harbor Group Inc., certified financial planner. If you have any financial questions or would like to suggest a future topic, email [email protected] Now that baseball’s lockdown is over, fans are looking forward to a full season already underway. After all, this could be the year their beloved team makes it all the way to the World Series. You may not have thought of it before, but your finances are a lot like baseball. Let’s take a look at the financial lessons we can learn from playing baseball. As we all know, going up to the base is a big deal. Often matches are won one base at a time and not by hitting the grand slam. A player who hits a single can put a runner in scoring position. This one-at-a-time approach can also work for your finances. It means looking at your goals and seeing, one step at a time, how to work towards them, much like scoring a run one base at a time. The basics are important and the first step to getting where you want to go is to get down to basics so to speak. Get in position to make your bets. That’s what baseball players try to do – be prepared to make plays at the base they’re on. In finance, this means being prepared for the unexpected and all the “what ifs” that may arise. The most common example given is having an emergency reserve. It’s money you’ll have access to in case your car needs repairs. This may be a much better choice than using your retirement account or perhaps a high interest rate credit card. Another example is having an appropriate amount of insurance. It could really help if an unfortunate accident happens and you are responsible for paying the damages. While we all love to see hits, there will be strikeouts along the way. These are a big part of the game and baseball players know it. Ted Williams once said, “Baseball is the only business where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” If we apply this to finance, the lesson learned is to expect failures as well as blows. Reacting emotionally when things don’t go your way can just make the outcome you’ll have worse. Investing is the perfect example. A well-thought-out investment plan can help you get through periods when the market is not performing particularly well. You will have no control over the market. You have control over your investment objectives, risk tolerance and what you choose to invest in. Another baseball quote, this one from longtime baseball fan Warren Buffett, every location. By having an investment strategy, implementing it, and monitoring it over time, you can win in the end game. Often in baseball, a team has to come from behind to win. It’s always an exciting time in baseball, like when the losing team has just tied the score, making it a whole new game. In finance, you may find yourself in a similar situation. Maybe you overspent. Maybe your investments haven’t been winning. The point here is that it can still be a whole new game. Take the past as lessons and prepare for a new game in the future. You can build on the past and what you have learned from experiences. There is a new game every day. Finally, you may just need a coach. Sometimes a financial advisor, lawyer or accountant can provide you with the information you need to keep moving forward. As we said earlier, success sometimes involves moving forward one foundation at a time. As Yogi Berra told us, “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Advice offered by Marc Hébert, president of The Harbor Group Inc., a certified financial planner. If you have questions about finances or if you want to suggest a future topic, email [email protected]

Now that the baseball lockout is over, fans are looking forward to a full season already underway. After all, this could be the year their beloved team makes it all the way to the World Series. You may not have thought of it before, but your finances are a lot like baseball. Let’s take a look at the financial lessons we can learn from playing baseball.

As we all know, getting to the base is a big deal. Often matches are won one base at a time and not by hitting the grand slam. A player who hits a single can put a runner in scoring position. This one-at-a-time approach can also work for your finances. It means looking at your goals and seeing, one step at a time, how to work towards them, much like scoring a run one base at a time. The basics are important and the first step to getting where you want to go is to get down to basics so to speak.

Get into position to make your plays. That’s what baseball players try to do – be prepared to make plays at the base they’re on. In finance, this means being prepared for the unexpected and all the “what ifs” that may arise. The most common example given is having an emergency reserve. It’s money you’ll have access to in case your car needs repairs. This may be a much better choice than using your retirement account or perhaps a high interest rate credit card. Another example is having an appropriate amount of insurance. It could really help if an unfortunate accident happens and you are responsible for paying the damages.

While we all love to see hits, there will be strikeouts along the way. These are a big part of the game and baseball players know it. Ted Williams once said, “Baseball is the only business where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”

If we apply this to finance, the lesson learned is to expect failures as well as successes. Reacting emotionally when things don’t go your way can just make the outcome you’ll have worse. Investing is the perfect example. A well-thought-out investment plan can help you get through periods when the market is not performing particularly well. You will have no control over the market. You have control over your investment objectives, risk tolerance and what you choose to invest in. Another baseball quote, this one from longtime baseball fan Warren Buffett, every location. By having an investment strategy, implementing it, and monitoring it over time, you can win in the end game.

Often in baseball, a team has to come from behind to win. It’s always an exciting time in baseball, like when the losing team has just tied the score, making it a whole new game. In finance, you may find yourself in a similar situation. Maybe you overspent. Maybe your investments haven’t been winning. The point here is that it can still be a whole new game. Take the past as lessons and prepare for a new game in the future. You can build on the past and what you have learned from experiences. There is a new game every day.

Finally, you may just need a coach. Sometimes a financial advisor, lawyer or accountant can provide you with the information you need to keep moving forward. As we said earlier, success sometimes involves moving forward one foundation at a time. As Yogi Berra told us, “It’s not over until it’s over.”