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The Strategic Similarities Between Tennis and Financial Planning

June 08, 2023

With the 2nd leg of the Grand Slam currently underway in France, I thought it would be a timely article to compare the similarities between tennis and financial planning. Tennis and financial planning may seem like vastly different worlds, one dominated by intense physicality and the other by numbers and calculations. However, beneath the surface, these two seemingly unrelated realms share striking similarities in terms of strategy, discipline, and long-term vision. In this article, we will explore how the principles of tennis can be applied to financial planning, highlighting the key lessons that can be learned from the sport to achieve financial success.

Goal Setting and Strategy:

Both tennis and financial planning require a clear vision and well-defined goals. In tennis, players set objectives for each match, break them down into smaller milestones, and adapt their strategies accordingly. Similarly, financial planning involves setting short-term and long-term goals, such as saving for retirement, purchasing a home, or funding a child's education. Just as tennis players develop strategies to overcome opponents, financial planners create personalized plans to navigate economic challenges and achieve their clients' objectives.

Risk Management:

In tennis, players must evaluate the risks and rewards associated with each shot they take. They make calculated decisions about whether to play aggressively or conservatively based on the current match situation. Similarly, financial planning entails assessing risk tolerance, diversifying investments, and determining the right balance between risk and return. Successful financial planners help clients understand the potential risks involved in different investment options and guide them toward strategies that align with their risk appetite and financial goals.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

In both tennis and financial planning, adaptability is key to success. Tennis players must constantly adjust their game plan based on their opponent's strengths and weaknesses, court conditions, and their own performance. Likewise, financial planners need to be flexible in response to changing market conditions, regulatory shifts, and evolving client needs. They must continuously monitor portfolios, make necessary adjustments, and provide timely advice to ensure optimal outcomes.

Discipline and Patience:

Tennis players spend countless hours honing their skills, practicing specific shots, and developing their physical and mental strength. Similarly, financial planning requires discipline and patience. It involves maintaining a consistent savings habit, adhering to a budget, and making informed investment decisions rather than succumbing to impulsive choices. Both tennis players and financial planners understand that success is not achieved overnight but rather through perseverance, discipline, and a focus on long-term goals.

Coaching and Expert Guidance:

Tennis players often work with coaches who provide guidance, analyze their game, and help them refine their techniques. In the realm of financial planning, individuals seek the assistance of professionals such as financial advisors or wealth managers. These experts bring knowledge, experience, and an objective perspective to help clients navigate complex financial landscapes, maximize opportunities, and avoid costly mistakes.

While tennis and financial planning may appear unrelated at first glance, the strategic principles and mindset required to excel in both fields are surprisingly similar. Both disciplines demand goal setting, risk management, adaptability, discipline, and the guidance of experts. By embracing the strategic lessons from tennis, individuals can apply these principles to their financial planning endeavors, increasing their chances of achieving long-term financial success. So, whether you're preparing to step onto a tennis court or reviewing your financial portfolio, remember the game plan and strategy required to come out on top.

Enjoy the French Open!

Steven C. Dengler, CFP®

Financial Advisor / Director of Planning

 Mosaic Asset Partners, LLC

                1122 Kenilworth Drive, Suite 310

                Towson, MD  21204

                410.821.0089         fax 410.821.5993



The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.