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Friday, October 21, 2005

Winning the Game of Retirement

Copyright © 2005 Kemberly Wardlaw
Tools 2 Invest
http://www.tools2invest.com

Consider yourself an athlete in the sport of investing. Physical endurance is important when it comes to the sprint, however mental poise will see you through the long run. An investor can have the most reliable information available, but with the absence of emotional control, you may fail to reach the goal.

You should strive to be the Tiger Woods of investing and when you reach the eighteenth hole, your score is based on the portfolio's value. Upon retirement, you will know your ranking. At this time, the more desirable position would be that of team owner, not peanut-tosser.

It is in the world of sports, you may find relevant ideas for retirement planning. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing in stocks, yet you may want to consider the following attributes shared by champions.

The first step in developing your portfolio is to put together a team of all-stars. Forget the minor league players, you need the Sammy Sosa's and Randy Johnson's to fill your roster.

Relieve the players with weak relative strength versus the index and keep the ones with strong relative strength. If you are unaware of these changing numbers, contact an investment professional knowledgeable in this area.

Next, limit yourself to the number of players allowed on the field. In football, for example, your team may only have eleven players on the field while the play is live. Your team is penalized for too many players. This seems to be a difficult rule for many investors. As a coach, you may have drafted a college superstar who turns out to be a professional dud.

Do not allow your self- esteem to keep the player in the game. Analyze your back-up players and be aware of the time remaining on your retirement clock.

Although it may be emotionally difficult to pull the stock, keeping it may limit your overall score.

You should always focus on long-term fundamentals without neglecting short-term reviews (ie: annual updates). This does not mean you become a speculator of stocks; you just position yourself as the number one draft picker.

If resources do not allow for adequate diversification, or if you are new to investing, consider hiring a manager. In other words, find mutual funds suitable for your investment risks, time horizons, and goals.

Your batting average is no better when you hit a home run versus a single. It may be more exciting to post a high slugging average, but even Babe Ruth struck out now and then.

Another point worth noting is to keep your winners. Unless you can find a better player for that position, let your winners carry you to a championship. John Elway did it for the Denver Broncos in 1999 at age thirty-eight. Remember, we pick our starters because we believe in their abilities to outperform. Still, it is vitally important to monitor your holdings. You may one day decide to retire a player who does not fit into you overall game plan. Until that time, remain focused on the goal line and block out the noise of the market.

In the game of rugby, players advance the ball forward while pitching it back to another player. The idea here is to look forward, but never forget what the past teaches us.

Players may come and go, but victory never loses its appeal. We all look for success in our investment portfolios and a time to take home the gold. Keep a positive attitude and dedicate your resources to winning the game of retirement.

About the Author: Wardlaw's belief is that familiar life elements best illustrate practical investment strategies; not typical investment jargon. With that philosophy, the author assists financial planners/advisors, brokerage firms, periodicals, and other investment information syndicates create informative and entertaining articles. For comments and questions, please contact the author at www.tools2invest.com or tools2invest@yahoo.com.

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