A Trifecta of Lessons: 2022 World Cup Edition

Life is like a game of football; you need goals. We draw three financial planning analogies from the World Cup to help you score in life.
2 December 2022

The 2022 World Cup has seen more than a fair share of big upsets. If the past two weeks are a precursor of what is to come, then this World Cup will be remembered not just for the spirit of the underdog, but for the importance of getting the best out of a team of players who are not superstars.

Most notably, Saudi Arabia got the internet buzzing following its win over Argentina, with many exclaiming how unexpected and unbelievable it was. But when broken down, success in football and life tends to leave footprints which we can learn from. Here are three life and money lessons we can learn from Saudi Arabia’s win.

1. It All Starts With A Good Defence

In football, the biggest celebrations come right after a goal is scored. Naturally, attacking midfielders and strikers are lauded as key players of the best teams in the world. But astute and seasoned fans would know that a resilient defence provides a solid foundation upon which the attackers can propel from.

In our financial journey, the same philosophy applies. Always ensure that we are well protected against life’s curveballs and lemons. What does a good defence entail? Always keep six months of emergency funds socked away and include low-cost, fit-for-purpose insurance to guard against expensive hospitalisation bills, loss of income, and death. When you purchase insurance with MoneyOwl, you get to compare over 500,000 insurance quotes and receive up to 50% of first-year commission rebates straight to your bank account!

2. Take Calculated Risks To Score Wins

With a well-assembled backline fending off wave after wave of Argentinian attacks, the Saudis had to make calculated moves of their own to win the game. This involved a certain degree of risk, as counterattacks would open up spaces in their backline that players like Messi and Martinez could quickly pounce on, which they almost did on many occasions. But the beautiful game is not all about keeping the ball out of your net; it is also about taking your chances and putting it in your opponent’s – which the Saudis did so potently.

Similarly, in life, we need to take calculated risks to reach our financial goals. Economist, Frank Knight, was right on the money when he opined: “Willingness to bear uncertainty is the key reason investors have the opportunity for profit.”

The only certainty about the future is its uncertainty. But that shouldn’t detract the investor who is clear about their investment risk appetite, time horizon, and goal. With a clear blueprint in place, we need not be wavered by noises like market volatility and inflation; on the contrary, we should continue investing with the peace of mind that we have already strapped in for the ride.

Remember, every dollar sitting in your savings account is a dollar lazily sipping away at a pina colada in the Bahamas. Put your dollars to work, so you can reap the rewards in the long term. To get started, choose to invest your money in low-cost, globally diversified fund instruments like MoneyOwl’s Dimensional Funds, which subscribes to an investment strategy grounded in Nobel Prize-winning economic theory.

3. Without A Good Coach, Good Players Can’t Win Games

Even with Messi, a record 7-time Ballon d’Or winner, and an embarrassment of superstars on the team, Argentina failed to break down a well-drilled, superbly organised Saudi team. Each Saudi player showed a great understanding of his role and did the simple things to perfection. Kudos, too, to the coach for his tactical acumen and astute planning.

Similarly, when it comes to our finances, without a holistic plan, the best investment tools are but short-term, tactical shots. Elevate to a strategic gameplan with experienced professionals who take an objective, non-biased and comprehensive approach to build a sustainable roadmap – chart your retirement and ideal future with MoneyOwl’s Comprehensive Financial Planning service, which distils your inputs into a customised report with charts and projections. In a nutshell, it offers a holistic picture of your finances, letting you know where you stand, where you need to go, and how to get there.

If you prefer to speak with a human adviser, MoneyOwl’s fully salaried and highly competent client advisers will work closely with you to provide comprehensive, competent, and conflict-free financial advice so you have the best shot at scoring life’s winning goals.

Conclusion: Maintaining Consistency On The Field And In Life

While the World Cup fever just started in November, the qualifiers began two years ago as teams all over the world competed against each other to score a place in the group stage.

As much as we were captivated by the Saudi Arabia-Argentina results, Argentina’s loss this round may not matter in the long run as they have time to recover ground and move on to the next round. Just as in life, we may trip over some of our financial decisions such as buying the wrong stock, but being clear on our financial goals and taking progressive steps towards them will put us in good stead in our life journey.

If you’ll like a financial coach to help guide you towards achieving your life goals with peace of mind, MoneyOwl is best placed to do so. As an NTUC social enterprise, our mission is to empower everyday Singaporeans to make wise money decisions easily and confidently to live your best life.

Get started today!

About the writer: The writer, Kevin Ng, is a Digital Marketing Executive with MoneyOwl who describes himself as a self-proclaimed optimist who chooses to see the glass half-full. He stubbornly (and perhaps mistakenly) believes the stock market isn’t a zero-sum game and that there is more than enough pizza to go around the table. 

Disclaimer: While every reasonable care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, no responsibility can be accepted for any loss or inconvenience caused by any error or omission. The information and opinions expressed herein are made in good faith and are based on sources believed to be reliable but no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to their accuracy, completeness or correctness. Expressions of opinions or estimates should neither be relied upon nor used in any way as an indication of the future performance of any financial products, as prices of assets and currencies may go down as well as up and past performance should not be taken as an indication of future performance. The author and publisher shall have no liability for any loss or expense whatsoever relating to investment decisions made by the reader.

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