Top 10 Ways Managing Your Money Is Just Like Riding a Bike

An avid cyclist and bike racing fan, I sit transfixed during the many hours of Tour de France coverage every July when the race rolls around. This year, during some of the less-than-scintillating early miles of the sprint stages, my mind wandered a bit, and it occurred to me that there are some interesting parallels between winning the Tour de France and winning at personal finance.

Having watched Lance Armstrong pull off the win for 7 years in a row, I've compiled this list of the Top 10 Ways Managing Your Money Is Just Like Riding a Bike:

1. If you take safety precautions (e.g. helmet/emergency fund), you'll feel a whole lot more relaxed and confident on the journey.

2. The better prepared you are, the greater your chances of succeeding. It's important to learn from the past, but you must also scout out the road ahead and evolve with the constantly changing environment.

3. Crashes happen. The actions of other participants, bystanders, and the media can sometimes distract you from your goal. If you expect the unexpected and are able to respond with a level head, you'll be better off.

4. If you take too many unnecessary risks, you might end up out of the race, and sometimes it can take quite a while to recover.

5. But you'll probably have to take at least some calculated risks to come out ahead. For example, you might improve your performance by using cutting edge products, e.g. ultra-light wheels for big uphill climbs or, in the financial world, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs.) But you also make some tradeoffs, e.g. less stability going downhill or, with HSAs, penalties if you withdraw the money for something besides health care.

6. There will be rainy days, and there most certainly will be ups and downs. The one who weathers the tough days the best usually comes out ahead in the end.

7. You don't have to come out on top ("beat the market," so to speak) every day ? or any particular day, for that matter ? to win the overall race, the race that really matters.

8. You can go a lot farther if the team you surround yourself with has skills, experience, a well-defined goal, and the right motivation.

9. Even if you start at a huge disadvantage, you can emerge victorious if you have the right attitude, understand the rules of the game, and persist despite setbacks.

10. A little bit of luck never hurts!

So the next time you're in doubt as to which road to take on your personal financial journey, consider looking to the peloton for guidance and inspiration. Whether your goal is a yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysées in July or a secure retirement, there's a surprising amount to learn from watching a bunch of bike racers circumnavigate France. Congratulations, Lance!

Sherrill St. Germain
New Means Financial Planning
Principal
P. O. Box 666
Hollis, NH 03049

(603) 465 3485
[email protected]
http://www.newmeans.com

Member, Garrett Planning Network - http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com

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