For some people, fall is about the color-changing leaves, chilly nights, and pumpkin-spiced everything. As for me, fall is all about football and — more importantly — fantasy football. It’s pretty much the only shot I have at being an NFL general manager, and I revel in it. But what most people don’t realize is that it involves quite a bit of strategizing.
Not only do you have to know how to read specific scenarios and make player predictions with keen foresight, but you also have to decide whom you can possibly trade or cut to yield the highest points for your team. Essentially, you have to orchestrate several — quite literally — moving parts to formulate a cohesive team.
In that sense, fantasy football management is actually very similar to managing your finances. There’s more than just one determinative factor of your success — from market fluctuations to different investment options to ever-changing interest rates — and each of these has the power to pivot your strategy in any given week. Admittedly, fantasy football management isn’t as serious an endeavor, but the same principles certainly apply.
Here are some quintessential fantasy football tips you can use to put up big numbers for your team and your financial portfolio:
1. Have a winning mentality.
Like the general of an army, you’re the main decision maker for your fantasy football team and your financial portfolio. This means the success of your team and your finances hinges on the quality of your play-calling. Having a winning mentality means you commit to training yourself to make smart choices, learning from the consequences, and applying those lessons in future games (and investments).
2. Know your stuff.
Part of winning includes being at the top of your game knowledge-wise. If you have no market knowledge and no idea whether your portfolio or savings are yielding returns on your money, how can you expect to be a winner? Just like you need an in-depth understanding of the game to pick the right players, you need to understand basic finance to make sound decisions.
3. Watch for trends, make safe bets, and take calculated risks.
Following a player’s performance is like studying the trends of stocks and bonds. Just like bonds are a more secure investment, some players are safer picks. But sometimes, stocks are poised for a breakout play to make larger gains in the short term. By watching the way your investments perform, you can decide whether to kick a field goal and keep your money in bonds or go for the touchdown and move it to stocks.
4. Identify your objectives, and achieve them.
Obviously, scoring the most points is the goal of fantasy football — just like making money is the goal of managing your financial portfolio. You win at fantasy football by minimizing risk and giving yourself the best chance every week. Similarly, you can realize your financial goals by setting reasonable objectives at periodic intervals and strategizing how you’ll achieve them on a regular basis.
5. See the big picture.
Watching the stock market the way you observe events in your fantasy football league could yield valuable strategic insights, but remember, sometimes plans and strategies don’t work out how we forecast. If your star receiver is injured, you’ll have to pivot your strategy to meet your overarching goal. Similarly, if the stock of a company you’ve invested in plummets, you can plan your next move based on its performance, how well its industry is doing, and what its competitors are up to.
6. Be patient.
Winning the fantasy football playoffs doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s the result of a series of smart choices made throughout the season. Achieving financial success works the same way. You have to consistently pick the right investments at the right times, and it’s not always about getting a huge payoff and winning a blowout. Rather, it’s best to pick investment vehicles that create reliable growth over time with little risk.
Anyone can be a great planner, but it takes a true knack for knowing how to read and react to possibilities that makes you a real winner in both finance and football. By consistently making smart choices and taking risks at the right time, you’ll find yourself in the playoffs and living comfortably long into retirement.
Daniel Wesley is the founder of DebtConsolidation.com, the premier destination to help consumers get out of debt.
EKS | Courtesy of Daniel Wesley