Skip to content
Firm Updates & Advisor Advice
August 2021

Preparation and Risk – Lessons from the 2021 Olympics

Aaron Evans, CFA
“If you fail to prepare, you’ve prepared to fail”

With the wrap of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, it’s hard not to think about the spirit of the Olympic Athlete. Minimally, athletes have been preparing and training for their chance at ‘The Gold’ for 5 years and in many cases for decades. The Olympic games are an incredible spectacle of the world’s most gifted athletes, competing against each other and performing at their peak abilities. So, what can we learn from them as it relates to planning for a secure financial future?

If you fail to prepare, you’ve prepared to fail.

Mark Spitz, Former American competitive Swimmer and 9-time olympic champion

Define Your Goals

If you don’t know what financial security means to you, it will be impossible to prepare and make the right plan to achieve it. Your goals should be realistic and specific. Common Financial Goals include: Retirement, Education, Home-Buying, Debt Elimination, etc. Remember there are many free financial tools available online such as this How Much House Can I Afford tool or this Retirement Calculator.

Assess Your Risk Profile

What does your current situation, in the context of your goals, tell you about what level of risk you should or should not be taking and what level of risk are you comfortable with? Managing your risk profile involves understanding, analyzing and preparing for potential risks to minimize losses and maximize profits as you work towards achieving your goals.

Find a Coach

Even the best athletes in the world know they cannot go it alone. For your best chance at achieving your financial goals, recruit the help of trusted professionals. This might mean hiring a Financial Management Firm (we recommend a Fiduciary – HERE is a great article that explains why), a Certified Public Accountant or an Estate Planning Lawyer, depending on your personal circumstances to ensure you have the team in place to help get you where you want to go.

Track Progress & Re-Assess

You know that old saying, “the only thing that is constant is change,” well it’s true. The same strategy that helped you grow your portfolio last year may not be the best option to keep it going. It is so important to continuously track your progress, evaluate changes and re-assess accordingly.

I think nowhere in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were these lessons embodied more than with Simone Biles, American Gymnast who holds more than 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. Biles trained for 5 hard years with a staff of Olympic Coaches and a world-class team. In Tokyo, Biles stunned the world by withdrawing from some Olympic events stating that she was “suffering from the twisties,” a mental condition in which gymnasts lose the sense of where their bodies are in midair. Clearly, after assessing the risk to her physical health, Biles had to shift gears to minimize the potentially catastrophic were she to continue with the competition. Now that she is home, many are asking what’s next for the young athlete. Her goals have changed, so must her strategy for whatever the next phase of her life may be.

Chief Investment Officer at Strategic Financial Services, Doug Walters, states, “We are not in the business of predicting, we are in the business of preparing.” Set clear and realistic goals. Identify the level of risk you are able and comfortable taking. Get the right team of professionals to support you. And constantly track and re-evaluate as situations change. These foundations will serve you well as you work towards your “Olympic Gold.”

Content is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used as the basis upon which to make an investment or a financial decision. Strategic Financial Services provides advice and makes recommendations based on the specific needs and circumstances of each client. This material is not intended to provide professional tax or legal advice, which should be obtained from certified tax professionals and licensed attorneys.

About Strategic

Founded in 1979, Strategic is a leading investment and wealth management firm managing and advising on client assets of over $2 billion.



Strategic Financial Services, Inc. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an Investment Advisor. The term “registered” signifies compliance with regulatory requirements and does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

The information provided on our website, including weekly market commentaries, financial planning articles, and other educational resources, is intended solely for educational purposes. It is designed to offer insights into financial planning and investment management, aiming to enhance understanding of financial concepts, strategies, and market trends. This content should not be interpreted as personalized investment advice or a recommendation for any specific strategy, financial planning approach, or investment product. Financial decisions are deeply personal and should be made considering the individual’s specific circumstances, goals, and risk tolerance. We recommend consulting with a professional financial advisor for personalized advice.

Please be aware that Strategic Financial Services, Inc. does not provide legal or tax advice. The content on this website is not intended to be used as such or as a substitute for legal or tax advice from a licensed professional. We advise seeking guidance from qualified legal and tax advisors regarding these matters.
Investment Risks and Portfolio Management.

The discussion of any investments on this website is for illustrative purposes only and provides no guarantee that the advisor will make any investments with the same or similar characteristics as those presented. The investments identified and described herein do not represent all the investments purchased or sold for client accounts. The selection of representative investments to discuss is based on various factors, including recent company news or earnings releases.

It should not be assumed that any investments discussed were or will be profitable. All investments involve risk, including the potential loss of principal. There is no assurance that investments mentioned will remain in client accounts at the time you view this information.

When index returns are mentioned on this site, they are provided as a general indicator of market conditions and are not representative of any client’s portfolio performance. Indices are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs, and expenses, and cannot be invested in directly. Therefore, their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio.

While index returns are used as a framework to report on general market conditions, they should not be construed as an indicator of future performance of any specific investment or portfolio. Discussion of index returns is intended to provide context and insight, not to suggest that clients will achieve similar results. Each client’s portfolio is managed according to their specific investment goals and financial situation.

The opinions and any forward-looking statements expressed in the articles and videos featured in our resource center are as of the date of publication. These statements are based on current laws, regulations, market conditions, and other relevant factors, including third-party data. Given the dynamic nature of financial and regulatory environments, as well as potential changes in market conditions or economic circumstances, the information provided may become outdated or may no longer be accurate.
We rely on third-party data to form our opinions and projections, which means that these are subject to the same uncertainties that affect all data-dependent analyses. As such, we advise readers to exercise caution and not rely solely on the statements made herein for making financial decisions. It is recommended that investors consult with a professional advisor who can help assess the relevance and accuracy of the content in light of the current economic climate and personal financial situation.

Our website contains links to third-party websites as a convenience to our users. Strategic Financial Services, Inc. does not control, endorse, or guarantee the content found on such sites. We are not responsible for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.
Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.
The inclusion of any link does not imply our endorsement of the site, nor does it imply any association with its operators. Use of any such linked website is at the user’s own risk.

Related Resources