“You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”
– Ernie Harwell, legendary sportscaster
With October upon us, many Americans are turning their attention to the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series. I am always intrigued by the excitement and drama of it all ?? 1/2 when the stakes are so high for each team (even more so when my beloved Red Sox are still playing).
As advisors charged with helping our clients achieve their retirement dreams, there are actually quite a few lessons we can learn from baseball managers who successfully guide their team through the postseason.
For baseball managers, success begins by having a long-term view during the 162-game regular season. They proactively manage risk during the season by conditioning their players, resting superstars occasionally to prevent fatigue, etc. They don’t get too caught up in short-term performance, knowing that a four-game losing streak, for example, has very little impact on the team’s long-term success.
Sounds a bit like advising clients during the accumulation phase of retirement, doesn’t it? As clients save, we help them proactively manage risk. We encourage them to have a long-term view of market performance, reminding them that a brief market losing streak has very little long-term impact on a retirement portfolio as long as the wins outnumber the losses over the long haul.
But the post-season is a whole new ballgame. During the playoffs, baseball managers employ strategies that address the urgency of the situation. After all, that same four-game losing streak that had very little overall impact on the regular season would now mean the team heads home without that coveted World Series trophy.