Why Some Succeed & Others Fail

It was 2009, I was sitting at a breakfast at what was the Lexus Centre during the time, and listening to Collingwood FC CEO, Gary Pert, talk about Collingwood’s three year plan. The goal was simple – to win a premiership within the next three years. I guess every team wants to win the premiership, so what makes Gary’s desire more worthy than the 15 other teams? His strategy. Collingwood went on to win the premiership in 2010, and came runner’s up in 2011 after finishing the season with a record 20-2 (wins-losses).

Like Collingwood FC, most investors have goals – whether it’s financial independence, regular travel, helping their children, maintaining a legacy, giving back to their community, or all of the above. Yet most investors don’t have a plan or strategy to achieve their goals.

By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail

– Benjamin Franklin

We’re constantly pushing investors to think strategically. To be clear on their goals, and to design a plan, their game plan. All the market reading and analysis, asset allocation and investment selection decisions are worthless without being able to be put into perspective of an overall plan. When I talk about a planning, I think about it as an ongoing process, not as a one off event.

We generally meet investors who are looking for someone to help them manage their investments. After spending hours getting to know them, their family, their goals, their priorities, their concerns, we generally find that there is a disconnect between what they’re telling us they want, and their investments and their balance sheet. The best investment management in the world won’t be of any use to anyone if it’s not put into context of that person’s life.

In the end, it’s more than investment management these people are looking for.¬†They need help with¬†determining how much risk they can and should take, how sustainable is their retirement income needs, what is the most appropriate mix of investments, and how to protect and transfer their family’s wealth.

They’re looking for a strategy, their looking for guidance, they looking for reassurance that they are on the right track and that they are, and will be okay.

AFL legend and premiership coach Paul Roos, summed it up perfectly when he was asked what he was thinking in the last quarter of the 2006 grand final.

Having a plan and following it is far more important to your success than analysing the pros and cons of individual investments.

So, what’s your game plan?