Plan Your Financial Future Like Your Hockey Pool

Plan Your Financial Future Like Your Hockey Pool

Social Studies | Posted by - May 14, 2014 at 12:30 am

Planning for your financial future – be it a home purchase or retirement – can be both daunting and boring. Who wants to stare down the possibility of being broke in your sunset years? Meanwhile, all this diligent planning takes time from more immediately pressing matters – like following your favourite NHL team.

But what if there was a way to do both – to get your financial plans in order and prepare for your next fantasy league draft?

Here are some ways that the fundamentals of financial planning involve the same sensible principles and research required to design a winning NHL fantasy pool team:

Pick proven producers.

The best performers in a hockey pool include the players who've proven they can score over an extended period of time. Don't pick any flash-in-the-pan snipers with only one 40-goal season.

Similarly, a sound retirement can be found not through volatile mining stocks or internet poker winnings but a diversified portfolio of mutual funds and blue chip stocks placed in a RRSP. Meanwhile, your aggressive growth funds that have more upside can be placed in TFSAs.

Play strong defence.

While some new poolies focus on acquiring points, a rock-solid defence and a stand-on-his-head-great goalie can often make a bigger difference in your pool’s point totals.

In financial terms, this equals not only making more money, but also keeping down debts, especially those that carry hefty interest charges. Pay off your credit card balance before you splurge on your next Apple product. Accelerate your mortgage payments instead of taking that all-inclusive vacation to Mexico (the margaritas you can make at home won't be as watered-down, anyway).

Start a youth movement.

Every good pool team has its mix of wily veterans and young up-and-comers who can be picked up in later rounds of your draft and contribute more than you thought.

In real life, those rookies on the team are your kids. Give them the best shot they can have by paying for their university education. Maximize your RESP contribution every year.

Make the decisive trade.

Every fantasy GM makes a few stinker moves. Your first-round pick goes on an 82-game slump. Your star goalie injures himself for the year in the first week of October. Rather than hoping for miracle comebacks you need to cut your losses and dump those players through a trade or by putting them on waivers.

Similarly, one is better to admit a financial mistake on a bad stock investment or small business early on than cling to the bitter end and drain your bank account. Sell early and use the write-off for the loss.

Tags: debt management, financial goals, financial planning, retirement, health

Kevin Chong
"Kevin Chong is a Vancouver-based freelance writer whose writing on business has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Maclean's, and B.C. Business." Follow: @KevinChong1975
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