10 February 2014

John Barton

Director & CEO

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Here’s a new way to think about your finances — it’s just like cricket. I’m thinking of Adam Gilchrist and Geoff Boycott.

Gilchrist was the big-hitting former Australian batsman — lots of runs in quick time. Very exciting to watch. Boycott was the dour, careful Englishman of a generation ago. Again, lots of runs but not much excitement.

The interesting thing is their Test batting averages — both batsmen finished their careers with almost identical marks of 47. That’s 47 runs scored for each time they were dismissed.

Gilchrist did it in a hurry — he was the first batsman to hit 100 sixes in Test matches. His was often a high-risk approach. Boycott crawled. He hit 8 sixes in his career because his style was effective but not at all exciting. So, they produced the same returns but in such contrasting style.

 

Cricket’s one thing, but which style do you prefer in your finances?

There could be an easy answer to that question — if you have left your planning to the latter part of your working life, you may have to bat like Gilchrist. And that’s not easy. If retirement is still some time away, you can bat like Boycott.

There will always be risk — that can’t be avoided. But thinking about the winning target early on ensures a better game plan without suffocating pressure at the end. Cricket fans know that chasing 10 or 12 runs per over for the last 10 overs of a game is a tough task. Yes, you may be like Australia’s James Faulkner a few weeks ago and smash three consecutive boundaries in the final over to reach your goal.

But the odds are you will fall short.

We all need someone who can score as many runs as Gilchrist and Boycott. But, when planning your finances, most of us should prefer Boycott over Gilchrist. We should all prefer our runs to be scored without outrageous risks being taken and without needing boundaries off every second ball.

For investors that results in a much more effective and reliable investment journey. Of course, from a cricket only perspective, give me Gilchrist every time.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and is not intended to constitute financial product advice. Any information provided or conclusions made, whether express or implied, do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of an investor. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice.