3 tips for winning at cricket and investing

April 20, 2017 . Akash Kapur

The gentleman's game, cricket, is not just good for exercise and excitement - it also offers a lot of good tips that can help you become a better mutual fund investor

We Indians are known to be passionate when it comes to cricket. From the celebratory fireworks every time our team wins a major tournament to the mass sadness and hysteria when it loses – we can all agree that cricket really gets this nation’s pulse going. Beyond watching and cheering, actually playing it even makes for fairly good exercise, ensuring that kids and adults alike get some sunlight and fresh air.

But did you know? Apart from getting your hearts racing or giving you exercise, cricket can also help in one other very important way  – by helping you get wealthy! That’s right, the gentleman’s game assists you in your journey to wealth by helping you get smarter about your money.

All it takes is an understanding of the game and applying that to the world of investing. Here are a few lessons from the world of cricket that can help you be a better investor.

Know the game

Before you start planning your lineup and strategy, you need to know what format you’re playing. What works for one format may not work for another. For example, quick run-getters and big-hitters are a must for T20 games and even ODIs, but for Test matches, you’ll also need steady, stable players like The Wall.

Similarly, your investment tactics and lineup will, to a large extent, depend upon the ‘game’ you’re playing (long-term/short-term), your goal, risk appetite etc. Therefore, it is important to understand the time-frame over which you’re investing, and how much risk you’re willing to take, before planning your investments.

Build a suitable team

No winning team ever comprised of just star batsmen or stellar bowlers. To succeed, a team needs a bit of everything – good batsmen, good fielders, and good bowlers. So, once you know what format you’re playing and what strategy you’re going to adopt, you need to pick the appropriate players to help you win the match.

The same applies for investments. Picking only defensive players like debt funds, or only offensive players like equity funds will not help you win the ‘match’. You need to understand your investment time-frame and appetite and then create a team of funds accordingly. Choosing the wrong set of funds for the wrong investment goal could result in more harm than help.

Get every run you can

Big shots help build up a big score. However, it’s not possible to hit a 6 or a 4 on every shot. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for the singles and doubles too. Whacking balls away for 6s and 4s is sure to bump up your score but it’s the 1s and 2s that keep you going – after all when you’re chasing a target, every ball counts.

This philosophy applies to the world of investing too. In this world, you’re always playing with a target to beat – your retirement requirement, the cost of the vacation you’re planning, the fees for your child’s higher education, etc.. So, it’s important to make every month count. One way to do this is to start monthly SIPs in mutual funds – if each month is a ball, your SIP instalments are the ones and twos that keep your score ticking.

Also, if and when you have surplus cash in hand or get a bonus, you can pump it into your existing investments. These lump sum (one-time) investments will act as your big shots – bumping up your total investments and bringing you closer to your target.

Of course, there are many other lessons one can derive from the most beloved of games in the Indian subcontinent. Do let us know what investing lessons you’ve seen or picked up from the game of Cricket.

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