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With the Olympic flame having been extinguished on Sunday night and the Canadian Olympic team starting their journey home, here at FLC we noticed that there are many similarities between the way athletes approach their training and the way we all need to be looking to manage our finances.  Patrick Chee is one of the Financial Advisors at FLC and has supported many athletes on their life journey.  He has advised them on how to manage their wealth at the various milestones of their careers and how to transition to their next chapter in life.  I sat down with Patrick to discuss what are the top 5 lessons we can all take away from watching these athletes perform in the biggest sporting event in the world.

1. Focus on the long-term

Building yourself into an Olympic athlete takes time and dedication.  Years of training goes into giving yourself the best chance of winning a medal, and it does take time.  The punishing physicality of sport means many athletes suffer injuries throughout their training and must shift their focus to rehab all the while keeping their long-term objective in mind.

Similarly, successful management of your money comes from having a long-term view of what you want to achieve and identifying the steps to get there.  Priorities may shift along the way as life happens and there may be bumps in the road as the stock market rises and falls but by having a plan and not getting swept up in knee jerk reactions you can achieve financial success.

2. Set and define your goals

Elite athletes set goals for how quickly they want to complete the race, how high they want to jump or how many summersaults they want to land in their routine.  By looking towards the elusive gold medal and defining the goals they need to achieve to get there, athletes work on staying focused to increase their chances of success.

The same goes for your money.  Setting goals and defining what they are means your financial advisor can tailor make a plan to help you achieve your objectives: whether it be saving for retirement, buying a property or paying for your children’s education.

3. It takes discipline to stay the course and monitor your performance

The sacrifices athletes make to achieve their sporting dreams are well known – early starts to get to training, time away from home to compete and high costs to pay for equipment and training.  Imagine the years of making these sacrifices and then on the big day the nerves get the better of you and you don’t perform as well as you hoped.  These athletes do not give up.  They pick themselves back up, reflect on what went wrong and then work harder to ensure they are prepped for the next race.

It is a similar case with successfully managing your money.  It takes discipline to get in the habit of saving and often need to make short-term sacrifices to reach your long-term goals.  By explaining what your goals are to your financial advisor you are ensuring someone is there to hold your hand on your journey and keeps you accountable to following through with your plan.

4. Invest early to achieve your goals

Look at any Olympian and you will see that they started training at a young age.  In this year’s Olympics the youngest person to receive a medal is just 12 years old!  These athletes (and their parents) started investing in their athletic careers when they were young.

If you make saving a habit from a young age the power of compound interest will greatly increase the value of your savings over time.  When we first start working with clients, one of the areas we look at is how much money they are going to need in the future, what they are currently spending and therefore how much they can afford to save.  The earlier you start doing this the easier it is to create opportunities for yourself.

5. We all need coaching

Behind every great athlete is a team of individuals helping them get a place on the podium.  Olympians recognize that they need support for their journey.

Our Financial Planners can help you to identify your goals and use their expertise to design a plan on how to achieve them.  We work with a variety of experts to ensure you have retirement solutions arranged, estate planning in place and the necessary insurance plans set up.

FLC has partnered with the Canadian Sports Institute to offer workshops to help their members optimize their financial and tax planning opportunities at all stages of their careers.   If you would like to meet with a member of our team to discuss your financial needs please visit our website or email Sara Mclean at [email protected].

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