This weekend, golf fans everywhere are watching The Masters.
The world’s best players—legends like Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, as well as younger pros like my man, hometown hero Sam Burns—are showcasing their flawless golf swings. (They make it look so easy, don’t they?)
In between all the jaw-dropping shots, golf fans will also “ooh” and “ah” as companies market their latest golf equipment. We’ll see commercials for state-of-the-art clubs and balls, innovative bags and carts, cutting edge clothing and shoes.
The clear message of all these ads? “Buy our products and your game will improve. You’ll hit it straighter and farther.”
I guess I must be a sucker. Five years ago, I took up golf. (What was I thinking?)
Perhaps the biggest (and most surprising) takeaway from my brief “golf career” is that the quality of my equipment has little relationship to the quality of my results.
Purchasing better clubs did not instantly translate into shooting better scores. More than nicer clubs, I’ve learned what I really need is a solid swing.
Every pro knows that. A great swing is what separates weekend duffers from Masters champions. (That’s why the world’s best will have their “swing coaches” with them on the practice tee Saturday and Sunday.)
It’s when you put both of those things together—a really sound swing with excellent equipment—that you get a result that is something to behold.
By now I’m sure you’re thinking: Wait…isn’t this a financial column? What does all this “golf talk” have to do with money (other than the fact that the winner of The Masters will pocket a cool $2.07 million)?
Here’s my point: Financial products—things like annuities, life insurance, IRAs, mutual funds, etc.—are a lot like golf clubs. You want good ones. They are definitely important.
But just like a solid golf swing matters more than the brand of golf clubs in your golf bag, in the world of finance, there’s something even more fundament and important than the financial products you select.
What is that thing? What’s the “swing” when it comes to your money? The swing is your financial plan. That is what every investor needs to focus on first.
If you don’t yet have a solid financial plan, I have good news for you. I recently wrote an e-book titled “How to Put Money Worries in Your Rear View Mirror – The Financial Freedom Roadmap.” The book is free if you’d like a copy. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send it to you right away.
In the meantime, watch some of The Masters tournament this weekend. You’ll see those pro golfers use a variety of clubs—drivers, long-irons, wedges, putters, etc. Each is designed for a different kind of shot, and each gives a different result.
Let that fact remind you that when it comes to your money, you’ve got an array of financial products you can choose from, depending on your unique circumstances.
Some of those financial products are ideal for “long-range” situations. Others are better more for “up close” circumstances. Some offer more safety. Others involve more risk.
How do you know which one(s) to choose? Again, as you watch Sam, Tiger, and Dustin swing their way around the historic Augusta National golf course, watch how their caddies help them select just the right club. Then realize: A trusted financial advisor can do that for me—provide wise counsel as to which product is best-suited for my situation.
As it is in golf, so it is in your financial life. Club selection matters. But your swing matters even more.
Improve your swing, and you’ll improve your game.
Enjoy your weekend. (And go, Sam!)
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