Great Rivals

Perhaps you watched the men’s Australians Open final, which saw Roger Federer eventually overcome Rafa Nadal. The speech at the end by Roger Federer was typical of him, but many that don’t follow tennis might wonder if he wasn’t simply saying some well-rehearsed lines, which sound very nice but aren’t really true. Those who do follow tennis, will recognise that it seems to have an unusually generous, gracious and humble group of people at the top of their game. Respect is not something demanded, as it is in some sports, but modelled.

What if businesses took a similar approach?

Let us not forget that this is a highly competitive sport, a battle of skill, stamina and psychology and the momentum flows back and forth like the ball itself. Imagine if this sort of respect was found in business, if competition was performed with grace. If being “the best” didn’t mean others were annihilated in the process. An awareness that being “the best” only lasts so long, whilst you are good enough to be better than, rather than because you once were. I wonder how this sort of approach might alter the way companies behave. It might change the way they invested in their staff, sector or community rather than simply focus on the quickest and cheapest way to get what they want.

… and how about the Public Sector?

I had thought that the non-business sector might be different. Schools might collaborate rather more than they do, but in practice Head Teachers are invariably under pressure of targets. Achieve results, retain pupils and so on, which might be in the interests of the pupil, but might not. The targets incentivise certain types of behaviour and as usual, you get what you measure. What therefore requires challenging is the targets being set, which within the Public Sector are set by Governments. I appreciate that many within the Public Sector may well collaborate, but this is rarely incentivised or encouraged.

Rise above the noise

Similarly, when it comes to your own financial planning, the targets that you set, should be yours, not those set for you by others. The fact that your favourite radio or TV station feels the need to report the level of the FTSE100 every half-an-hour is beyond my comprehension. It is irrelevant information to anyone other than a financial trader – who already has it! So, when you play your game best, you don’t have to beat the market, you don’t have to beat other people. Your financial plan “simply” needs to align with your values and then make use of the most suitable financial planning techniques. The difference is fundamental and fundamentally about confidence …and some good humour.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email