6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From The Game Of Cricket
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India is a cricket crazy nation. We all love watching the men and women in blue (or in white for Test cricket) play their hearts out for the nation. And the love for cricket, which of course has no boundaries, goes beyond the 22-yard pitch as well.

 

The entire nation keenly follows the Indian cricketers both on and off the pitch, isn't it? We are curious to know what the players are up to in their lives, their other hobbies and interests, brands they are associated with, etc. But have you ever explored the possibility of learning something from this sport? 
 
If not, then just pause and be ready to learn some of the lifelong lessons that we can learn from cricket, especially when it comes to managing your personal finances and investments. 
 
1. The players in the team each have unique strengths. In other words, think of it as the importance of portfolio diversification
 
 
The lineup of a cricket team involves a mix of 11 different players, like some batters, bowlers and a wicketkeeper, doesn't it? Each player included in the team has unique strengths and qualities which form the basis of that player’s selection and role in the team. After all, just like batters need a good display from bowlers when defending the target, bowlers need the batters to score well on days when they are able to restrict the opposition to a low total. So, it's all about everyone contributing towards their role in different ways, with the same intention to win,
 
Similarly, when it comes to investing your hard-earned money, instead of putting all the eggs in one basket by investing in one investment instrument, go for diversification.  Simply put, when you invest in just one financial instrument, you deprive your portfolio of having the balance to make the most of different market phases, economic ups and downs and even the intrinsic features of each instrument. 
 
If you intend to gain high returns and that too in the short to medium term, investing in an instrument like PPF, whose moderate returns and a lock-in period of 15 years itself depicts its aim of long term savings, would result in failure to actually benefit from the intrinsic features of PPF, besides failing to achieve the set goal. As far as economic and market dynamics are concerned, when the market is soaring high, your diversified portfolio would benefit from the presence of investments in equity mutual funds, whereas when the market is bearish and your equity investments are bleeding red, having fixed income instruments like bank FD and debt mutual funds can stabilize your portfolio. For more information on diversification and how to go about it, click here.
 
2. The team huddle for planning teaches us that failing to plan = planning to fail
 
 
We all must have seen the teams forming a huddle before stepping into the field to chase or defend the score. That is a key step in planning and giving instructions to everyone regarding each one’s role and the team’s strategy. After all, sticking to your plans and playing accordingly is the key to success, isn't it? 
 
Similarly, when it comes to investing your bucks, remember that failing to plan is equal to failing to plan. So devise a well-thought investment strategy and planning after factoring in your income, existing debt obligations like loans, risk appetite, investment horizon etc. In the absence of all this, you would in all likelihood end up investing in inappropriate instruments or beyond your risk appetite, which can take you away instead of closer to your goals!
 
3. Leaving the uncertain balls outside the off-stump teaches us to be selective
 
More often than not, especially in test cricket, batters tend to leave the balls about which they are uncertain, like those outside the off stump. Ever wondered why? It's because they are selective of their battles. They know when to attack, defend or leave the ball, instead of just going for hard-hitting every time. And having that balance in your mindset is what exactly helps to build an innings and win matches.
 
Similarly, just like the volatility of those outside off stump balls, that can either inswing, outswing or even offer no swing, the stock market is volatile as well. And just as you don’t throw your bat at every ball, you don’t have to frequently buy and sell stocks to build your wealth or go after high gains. Instead, all you need to do is be extremely selective about your investments and know when to buy, sell or stay put. Acting with patience and prudence in the stock market will go a long way in fetching good returns, whereas an erratic and impulsive decision-making strategy can make your portfolio bleed red and lead to losses. 
 

 

4. Being careful of the googlies teaches us to beware of ‘sweet’ sales pitches
 
Googlies are one of the most dangerous balls for a batter to face, which a lot of times results in the batter getting out. It's all about failing to carefully read that googly, and the entire innings can get finished with that one ball. 
 
Just like such balls in cricket, our finances can take a dig as well when we fail to read the ‘sweet’ sales pitches bombarded upon us by tons of financial advisors, agents and portals. These tend to offer us their own version of ‘best’ investment options and pitch us whatever they wish to, even if it's false or biased! More often than not, we fall into such sales pitches upon believing whatever we are told, right? That's exactly the reason behind many people sitting with sub-optimal investments or financial decisions which offer no benefits for them, or at worse incur losses or harm to their financial health, given that those turned out to be more financially draining instead of rewarding! So don't let anyone sweet talk into making bad investment choices.
 
5. Wearing protective gear teaches us to mitigate the risks of uncertain future
 
 
Wearing protective gear like helmets, guards and pads are a step from the batter’s side to reduce the risk of any adverse event like injuries. After all, uncertainty is the only certainty in life. The cricketers go into the field well prepared in all possible ways, to mitigate the risk of getting injured, which can pose threat to their career as well.
 
Similarly, doesn't it make sense to wear protective gear in the form of life and health insurance to mitigate the risk of uncertainties in life? By purchasing adequate life insurance, for which term insurance is the most suitable option, as well as health insurance, you are all set to get covered against uncertainties like untimely death and/or skyrocketing medical bills. Whereas in the absence of insurance, both you and your family remain financially vulnerable, with life’s exigencies being capable of not just wiping out your lifelong savings, but even forcing you to borrow urgent funds, which might either not be possible or you might be pushed towards availing high-cost loans for meeting such financial shortfalls.
 
6. Getting out on 'fancy but risky' shots teaches us that high risk does not guarantee high returns
 
Improper execution of highly risky shots can not just get you out, but also make you lose matches. Much like in the game of cricket, it's advisable not to put all your hard-earned money into high-risk investments in the hope of guaranteed high returns! Without having adequate knowledge regarding the economy and market, and failing to factor in your risk appetite can result in you sitting on a pile of losses. Now, you may think that since equities are associated with high risk, one should avoid them, right? That's not the case. While equities do tend to involve high risk in the short term, the risk over the long term is on the lower side, along with higher returns vis-a-vis most asset classes and investment options. 
 
So, it's all about knowing the right timing and technique, whether it's a cricket shot or investment. In cricket, practice is the key and in investment, it's the adequate research, market and product knowledge coupled with well-thought investment planning to reap the maximum benefits.

 
 


 
 


 
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