4 things you can learn about personal finance from The Masters

Number 16 at Augusta National Golf Club.

On a Friday afternoon in April 2008, I was sitting on the hill on #16 at The Augusta National Golf Club. It was Friday, it was The Masters, and I couldn’t believe I got the opportunity to go. After sitting there a while, my buddy Vic said I had to try a famous $1.50 Masters Pimento Cheese Sandwich. It was delicious, but it came with a price. While I was in the tent buying said sandwich, Ian Poulter hit a hole-in-one. I can’t even express how loud the roar was or how or far my stomach dropped as I knew what had just happened. This story doesn’t directly relate to the rest of the article but I wanted you all to feel my pain (If you want to hear more of my sports near-misses, ask me sometime).

Now on to the good stuff…

The financial game can be tough, and golf might be harder. While personal finance and golf may not seem related at first glance, here are four personal finance lessons that you can learn from The Masters…

It pays to be patient: Golfers spend hours and hours practicing their swing and honing their putting strokes. In personal finance, it’s important to look at the big picture and be patient with your investments. By avoiding knee-jerk reactions to short-term fluctuations, you can increase your chances of achieving your financial goals. Like me, your 401(k) has probably been disappointing lately, but BE PATIENT.

You need a game plan: Successful golfers don’t just hit the ball and hope for the best. They have a game plan that takes into account the course, their own abilities, and the conditions of the day. When it comes to your finances, it’s important to have a plan for how you’ll reach your goals. This includes budgeting, saving, and investing. If you don’t know what you’re doing (most of us don’t), talk to your credit union or financial advisor and get on the right path.

Always learn from your mistakes: The best golfers in the world make mistakes on the course. But what sets them apart is how they bounce back from those mistakes. World #3 golfer Jon Rahm double bogeyed his opening hole in the opening round of The Masters yesterday (that’s bad). He then birdied the next two holes (that’s better) and finished the final 15 holes with 9 pars, 5 more birdies, and an eagle (that’s REALLY good). He was tied for the lead as I was writing this. So, if you make a mistake with your finances, it’s important to recognize it and then take steps to correct it. This may mean adjusting your spending habits, seeking financial advice, or making changes to your investment strategy.

Focus on your goals: Golfers have to stay focused on their game, regardless of distractions or setbacks. For you, it’s important to stay focused on your long-term goals, even when the market or other factors may tempt you to bail on your plan. If you stay committed to your financial goals, you’ll get to where you want to be.

John Pettit

John Pettit

John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. Through news, community, press, jobs and events, he keeps credit unions digitally informed throughout the day. Web: www.cuinsight.com Details