Financial Planning Lessons from Cricket World Cup Final (2011)

Today formidable India will fight mighty Australia – no one can predict the result but let’s hope result will be in our favor. Today everyone will be glued to TV or internet but let’s refresh our memories before that….. Let’s ride on time machine… 2015 >> 2011 🙂

Cricket mania is at its best… Cricket has over shadowed everything…. Other sports, movies, & issues like corruption. No one was bothered about the state elections or finding whereabouts of Shah Rukh Khan. All were glued to the idiot box with a bucket of popcorns. So I will also not break the continuity and will not bore you with a heavy topic, instead would try to connect cricket with the financial world. (This article was published in 2011)

2nd April, 2011 was the day when we got what we desired for so long. Our generation has grown seeing the video footage of Kapil Paaji, dressed like a gentlemen, lifting the cup and then the champagne raining from the balcony of the Lord’s. Now Dhoni has given us one more such memory and this is special as we have seen this team growing from bottom to the top. These “men in blue” really showed that with a strategy in place (Viru said that this Team was already working on the World Cup since last one year but we know they were planning from at least 4 years), and discipline you can change the fortunes.

Let me take you to the Financial Planning learnings from this World Cup Final win:

Setting Goals: After losing match Sangakkara said “I think if you need to win against India you have to score 350”. Well what he said is life. “You need to plan and plan extra for what you have not planned”. Although I am sure that Dhoni that day would have challenged 350 too, with the form the team was in but in our life we must make a financial plan to achieve our goals.

Asset allocation and Diversification: Sreesanth played poorly but his performance did not impact India as much, as others contributed well. A player is like an asset and you need to pick a right combination. Diversification benefits if one asset is out of form or flavor.

Short Term Performance: Zaheer Khan gave too many runs in last overs & Sehwag got out for a duck, but that doesn’t mean they are not good players. So, we can’t judge them by single match performance. Similarly you should not judge investments on their short term performance. Give them a suitable time and their justified cycle.

Beware of Mis-selling: There was some sort of cheating in the toss as Michael Vaughan said on his twitter “Sangakkarra has stuffed Dhoni… He shouted tail in the 1st toss and lost it …You can hear it in on air,” Sometime even before you start investing people will cheat you, mis-sell you. The way is to beware of the cheats and take a corrective action. You simply can’t fold your hands and surrender your financial life to the sharks. You need Fight till you have a plan which you are confident that your financial goals would be achieved.

Role of a Coach: You would be lucky if you saw Gary Kirsten laughing. The man is so miserly at even giving a smile. Gary Kristen was not playing but we know he was the “Krishna” of this world cup Mahabharata. The rule in financial planning is that, someone needs to decide and take action. And one can only decide if he has the full knowledge. If you feel you do not have the proper insight or know-how of this financial world get a Coach. And he is your Financial Planner. By the way, Financial Planner also may have a frowning face and bad sense of humor but I know they feel happy when they see their client is enjoying his financial life.

Predicting patterns: People try to predict future too much by looking at past. Before match started media started its DARAO kind of coverage–Host nation never won world cup… If Sachin makes a ton India will lose…. After losing toss – team batting first won 80% of the finals …. After Sri Lankan inning – no one ever won world cup chasing 274… blah blah. Similarly people try to find patterns in equity markets. If history would have repeated every time, what is the thrill in life than? Learn from History but do try to make it a Science and start taking it as a basis of your decisions.

Inspiration: This cup was for Sachin. Thousands of eyes got wet (including mine) when Virat said “he has carried Indian cricket for 23 years, and now it was their turn”. Sachin was not able to contribute much in the final but he was the backbone. In life also and particularly in Financial life we all should have inspirations. Our financial decisions will make or mar the lives of our dependent, so next time if you are still lazy to put your financial plan in place, just look at your family and draw that necessary inspiration.

Eyes on goal not on the score board: The start was bad for the Indian innings, but Virat, Gambhir and Dhoni had eyes set on the goals. They were not looking at score board after every ball they were just playing to win it. In our life too, we may win or lose in short run, but confronting it on constant basis is a futile exercise. When you sit with your financial planner, the goals are drawn and strategy is in place, chasing markets is a waste of time. These should be non-events and believe in your Financial Coach, that he would provide the extra cushions, in case you need them.

Take Responsibility: More than the World Cup Win, Dhoni’s respect as a man has gone manifold just because of one brave decision and that was to promote him up in the batting order and face the Lankans. Just imagine the pressure he was in when he came in to bat in front of the 6.5 crore  pair of eyes watching him. Thriller…. Dhoni is the captain of Indian team & you are captain of your family – so take responsibility. You are the asset creator and manager of your family – understand this. On the field or off the field take wise decisions. Some of them are hard, like paying for a Term Insurance, despite knowing that you are young to die and will not get anything once the policy matures. Or when a friend boasts that he made a killing in the commodities but you are sticking to same boring once in a month  SIPs. Being Dhoni is very tough but it’s worth when you get a World Cup.

And now the last one but I feel it to be the most important:

Attitude: We all know how last year went for Yuvraj. Out of the team and people started talking about his pot belly, party animal nature etc. But after World Cup win, Yuvi said in an interview to TOI, that “if next time I am out of form, do not blame my lifestyle”…. That’s a winner’s attitude. When you have a point to prove, prove it and point it to the world. In Yuvi language – Let “balla” do the talking. In your financial life other people will not forget or forgive your bad decisions. Do not fight with a pig as it is the pig that enjoys a mud fight, but you get dirty in the bargain. Best way is to reenergize and stick to the basics. Once you are successful, show it to the world as after a criticism session you deserve an applause too. (Read: Yuvraj’s message for you – annual health check up)

They say “learn a good thing from your religion” so we should also learn from cricket as “Cricket is not less than a religion in India”.

 Would you like to add few more finance related learnings from cricket?? 🙂

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Madhupam April 18, 2011, 1:52 PM

    Hemant Bhai,

    The best line that Cricketer commentators use is: Cricket is the game of UNCERTAINITY. If I translate in the Siddhu’s language it goes like this:
    Kabhi Lamha hai , Kabhi Khwab to Kabhi Manjar hai Jindagi,
    Jo Na Samjhe to Khanjar or Nibh jaye to Sikandar hai Jindagi
    Hope we all make our financial life SIKANDAR. 🙂

    • Hemant Beniwal April 22, 2011, 9:01 PM

      Hi Madhupam,

      Aap to shayar bhi nikle.

      But I am bit worried that why there is only 1 comment on this article. May be I was bit late in writing this 🙁

  • Jayashree R April 25, 2011, 9:50 AM

    O! What an article! I bow to you, Hemant Ji, for writing such an excellent article. I would give this article a title “The need for financial planning – in a NUT SHELL”!

    • Hemant Beniwal April 25, 2011, 11:46 AM

      Thanks Jayashree 🙂 🙂

      Must share this article with ur friends.

  • munish singh May 27, 2011, 4:30 PM


    Learn a lot from you. Now again to invest in mutual fund should we go through broker or we go indipendently by own choice. which is the best option , PLz suggest


  • ANIL KUMAR KAPILA July 3, 2011, 11:55 AM

    Hi Hemant
    Why only World Cup, we can learn also from test cricket currently being played by India.Wealth creation is like Test Cricket where a quick fifty or hundred may not always win you a game.You need the solidity of Rahul Dravid and Laxman more often than the flamboyance of a Virat Kohli to be able to emerge victorious over the five days.

  • Damodar parab July 16, 2011, 7:09 PM

    Great great artical……. Just loved it…… Super liked…..
    i hav ready many many articles… Usually i dont comment on any….. But for this article i cant stop myself

  • brij bhushan pandey September 17, 2011, 12:29 AM

    Hi brij bhushan pandey.
    Why only World Cup, we can learn also from test cricket currently being played by India.Wealth creation is like Test Cricket where a quick fifty or hundred may not always win you a game.You need the solidity of Rahul Dravid and Laxman more often than the flamboyance of a Virat Kohli to be able to emerge victorious over the five days.


  • CBNAIK March 26, 2015, 3:23 PM

    “Do not fight with a pig as it is the pig that enjoys a mud fight, but you get dirty in the bargain”…..very well said…..very good article……keep going…its makes us rich in financial knowlege.

  • sreedevi March 26, 2015, 5:46 PM

    i want to purchase a health policy for me. but all the healthcompanys giving different different quotes who is correct i can not understand. so i am so much confusing. when the claims comes who will pay correct amount. pl. help me in this matter thanking you.

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