Every four years, almost half the planet becomes entranced by international soccer as the World Cup brings together some of the greatest talent in the world. Whether or not you are a soccer fan, you can glean some lessons from the structure of the tournament, the styles of play, and the paths to the goal of winning it all. Here are some takeaways:
1) Look outside for new prospects: The United States was unable to qualify for the 2018 World Cup because there were better teams in its qualifying region. Many investors stay too tied to domestic stocks when the rest of the world presents viable alternatives in comparison. It may pay to look beyond your driveway. The previous champions, Germany, finished last in their group. What has happened does not always predict what’s going to happen.
2) You don’t have to take every shot: Some teams lost this year because they took too many shots, most of which were errant. They did not spend time playing defense in order to play better offense later. Some of the best teams waited until the right moment to strike. They bided their time and waited for opportunities; when the time came, they struck. Similarly, you don’t always need to make trades or constantly be invested in the markets, especially if the timing is not right. It’s a better strategy to look for places of higher reward with lower risk.
3) Probabilities over possibilities: Many of the best teams stayed in the tournament into the latter stages because they tend to have strong squads every time. Every once in a while, there may be something shocking, but generally, the data and figures tend to show practical trends and tendencies. It tends to pay off in the long run to stick to a well-developed strategy, even though there may be short-term ups and downs, because the statistics favor it. There are always some feel-good stories, but in the end, talent wins out on both the individual and collective levels.
Did you know? The winning World Cup team will receive $38mm and the runner-up will receive $28mm. Overall, an estimated $400mm will be distributed in prize money, which is less than 10% of what the organizing body, FIFA, is projected to make from the tournament.