When the game is won, don't take a huge risk
The Atlanta Falcons had all but won the Super Bowl. They were up by 8 points with a few minutes left and in field goal range. All they had to do was run the ball a few times and kick a field goal. Instead, they call a high risk play that results in a sack and then commit a holding penalty on the next play. Just like that, they were out of field goal range.
I see this odd risk taking behavior quite a bit in the personal finance world. Individuals and families have all but won the “money” game. They have sufficient funds for retirement, the bills are paid, and all they have to do is finish strong. Instead, they dial up a high risk business deal that causes them to lose it all, often times in their later years, making a comeback difficult. A phrase that can protect you and should have protected the Falcons is this:
Don’t risk what you have and what you need, to get what you don’t have and don’t need.
When the game is won, do NOT take a huge risk. A lot of what I do at Robert Hunt Financial, LLC is convince clients that they are doing OK. There are always areas of improvement, but we all must learn to appreciate what we have, so that we don’t call a drop back pass in our 60’s or 30’s for that matter. The risk/reward ratio is all out of whack when we do that.
If you are tempted to take a huge risk, think of Matt Ryan getting sacked with the Super Bowl all but won and perhaps that will give you the sanity to stick with your index funds and pay off your debts instead of investing in a high risk, debt fueled deal peddled by your golf buddy.
*Apologies to Atlanta Falcons fans for bringing this back to light as you were just getting over it. I know how hard a loss can be, but this lesson may sink in more for you than for any other fan base. When the game is won, finish.