A caddie knows the course; he would say that the green will break toward the water.
You have no caddie, and your gut tells you this putt will not break toward the water. The slope and the grain confirm your instincts. Your golfing buddies agree – this putt will definitely break left. Taking advantage of your sixth sense, you play the putt to the right, toward the the water. Your putter connects, the ball begins to roll, the speed is correct and you cannot wait to see it drop into the hole!
But the ball is no longer headed to the hole. The speed is picking up! It keeps going to the right! Your ball is now five inches off the green and on the fringe! Your face flushes, your knuckles turn white as your grip tightens; disbelief is swept away by anger, followed by a grunt of frustration. In resentment, you look over the line you chose one more time. As you move on, you and your foursome sputter about impossible putts and unfair greens.
Later, haunted by that putt, it dawns on you – you needed a caddie! A caddie would have scoffed at illusions and encouraged playing the ball left-to-right. A caddie would share his opinion about the challenges and obstacles ahead. He would suggest the driver be put away on the blind tee shot. A helpful caddie pulls out a better club, reminding you the best strategy into the dogleg right is hitting the ball 175 yards off tee, instead of a 245-yard shot that lands your ball in the woods.
A caddie does not have secret skills. He does not have x-ray vision or the ability to see into the future. However, a worthy caddie knows the game of golf. His experience in game situations has taught him best practices for maneuvering traps and hazards. He remains a faithful assistant who partners with you, offering pertinent advice and moral support.
There are parallels between investing and the game of golf, and between a financial advisor and a caddie. The value a caddie can add to your game is similar to the impact an advisor can have upon your financial planning. Both a good caddie and a respected advisor want success for your personal goals. Both seek opportunities to beat the accepted “industry” standards. Short-term and real-time changes happen, and both stay aware of outside influences that can affect the end result.
A caddie or an advisor is prepared to direct you through the twists and turns of the course. As a caddie helps you avoid the pitfalls caused by a poor swing or unplayable balls, an advisor can help guide you away from knee-jerk selling or emotional decisions. Both assist you in managing risk, and an admirable caddie or seasoned advisor guides you through decisions based on years of experience and an understanding of your goals. In the games we play, on the course or in life, collaborating with a partner might be what you need to shoot below par, so to speak.
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