I am the first to admit that I am chess failure. My brother tried to teach me when I was a teen but after he repeatedly beat me in three moves, I decided to hang up my knight and play solitaire. Looking back, I can see that I was either unable or unwilling to anticipate my opponent’s next move while my brother could so easily predict mine.
The irony is that I chose a career in finance which required just that skill. Early on, I worked on a trading desk. Success depended on the ability to anticipate where the markets were headed, and act based on that anticipation. Now I am a financial advisor. My most important responsibility is to encourage my clients to weigh the risk of the unthinkable with the cost of being financially prepared for it either through insurance products or retirement planning.
How has this experience prepared me to play chess after all these years? My opponent is the capital markets who needs to be studied before the next move is made. The king is the retirement goal that requires protection even if some sacrifices are required. Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to plan, you are planning to fail”… I wonder how his chess game was.
Audrey Schwartz is a financial advisor based in the Metropolitan New York area. Learn more about her services here.