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Some personal finance management lessons from Tokyo Olympics 2020

In keeping with the spirit of international peace and well-being that this event endorses, there really is a lot to derive in terms of personal financial wellness as well. Read on to dig a little deeper

July 23, 2021 / 06:15 PM IST
The United States is projected to win 96 medals topping the Tokyo Olympics table, followed by Russian Olympic Committee (68), China (66), Japan (61) and Great Britain (52). (Image: AP)

The United States is projected to win 96 medals topping the Tokyo Olympics table, followed by Russian Olympic Committee (68), China (66), Japan (61) and Great Britain (52). (Image: AP)

The summer Olympics 2020 kicked off on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. Arguably the biggest sports extravaganza that amalgamates every imaginable sport and country on a single platform every four years, the event is already running a year-long delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which in itself, is historic, given that no games in the modern history of Olympics since 1896 have been postponed because of any situation other than mighty world wars. 

While there is a considerable lot of history attached to the Olympics, the sheer, massive scale and spectrum of these games mean that there is so much to be unpacked and understood. And in keeping with the spirit of international peace and well-being that this event endorses, there really is a lot to derive in terms of personal financial wellness as well. Read on to dig a little deeper.

More is not always bad 

33 sports spread across 339 events with 11,500 athletes and 205 countries participating and playing in over 42 venues- that's the fundamental breakdown of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics happening in, umm, 2021. Olympics have traditionally been considered as a sporting behemoth, unequivocally sacred for gaming events like archery, aquatics, athletics, weightlifting, fencing, gymnastics, equestrian, and more. 

Beyond the realm of their relatively singular and popular counterparts like cricket and football, which rule the roost, the Olympics realise the holistic significance of and strive to provide a platform for equal recognition for them with collective growth as the final aim.

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Takeaway: Your portfolio is akin to a battleground of investments, with the ultimate objective being the generation of high returns, steady growth, and appreciation in the long run. For this purpose, you have various assets at your disposal- equity for aggressive growth, debt for investment protection, gold as an inflationary hedge, and so on. 

Eventually, an optimal combination of these asset classes is what will enhance your investment profile. Focusing on only one asset, like equity, will leave you vulnerable to market volatilities and high risks. On the other hand, emphasising only on the debt will devoid you of solid returns and growth. So, prepare your portfolio comprehensively. 

Reuse, Reinvest, Save

The current Olympics also happen to be the “greenest” of all times, hoping to emit merely 2.93 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, marginally lower than the 3.3 million tonnes of the polluting gas that was generated during the games in London, 2012. Not just that, renewable energy sources will be powering the venues, and 5,000 gold, silver, and bronze medals will be upcycled from about 78,900 tonnes of electronic devices, which included 6.21 million mobiles, thousands of cameras, laptops, and more, donated proactively by Japanese citizens. 

Takeaway: Think long-term. Understand that the value of your investments is bound to rise over time. It is only wise to not keep churning your money in the market after every loss or market low, in desolation or post booking a small profit as the stock markets see a high. Reinvesting your profits and staying put when you are low will eventually work out in your favor, as your money compounds and grows over time. 

Also, as a side note for the environmentally and socially conscious investors, the markets offer the opportunity of ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) funds to invest in companies that are actively working towards making meaningful societal contributions. 

Creating pricelessness

The glimmering gold, silver, and bronze Olympics medals you see are actually not molded in real metal. Take a look at the average value of these metals in the 2020 Olympics, based on the metals: 
Metal Weight (In Grams)Value (In Dollars)
Gold556790
Silver550440
Bronze4504.04

But it's not the actual value of these medals, but the sentiment of merit and hard work and passion that makes these medals priceless. Consider this. Cuba's Leuris Pupo won the gold medal in the men's 25-meter rapid fire pistol event in London in 2012. Once auctioned, that fetched him almost 73,000 dollars. Cuban long-jump athlete Ivan Pedroso sold his gold medal from the Sydney Olympics in 2000 for a smashing 71,000 dollars.

Takeaway: Your investments might seem small to you right now, but give it time, and you’ll find that your investments have bloomed spectacularly. For instance, a monthly contribution of Rs 10,000 over a span of 10 years at an estimated 12 percent per annum would mean you have earned returns worth Rs 11,20,000 in addition to your invested corpus of Rs 12,00,000, meaning you have a total of about Rs 23,00,000 in your kitty. Small dents do carve massive transformations over time! So, stay invested. 

Are you insured?

COVID brought the entire world to a screeching halt, and even the Olympics were no exception. Analysts estimated the insured cost of the games at 2 billion dollars. Notably, IOC takes around 800 million dollars worth of insurance for the same. The current budget for the games has already shot up by 22 percent to stand at 15.4 billion dollars currently, with 960 million dollars spent exclusively on implementing COVID related protocols, which means that postponement bills have risen to almost 3 billion since last year. 

Takeaway: Hefty figures, right? Emergencies and calamities, like COVID, come unannounced and can be extremely draining.  A good idea is to create an emergency fund worth 6-12 months of expenses and also take life and health insurance while you’re young since that would entail lower premiums. It's on you to stay financially prepared at all times.

So, catch our Indian athletes in action while you sort out your financial priorities to bring them on the right track, to strike gold!
Ira Puranik
first published: Jul 23, 2021 06:15 pm

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