How to Win in Chess… and in Personal Finance

How to Win in Chess… and in Personal Finance

What makes a player win in chess? Is there a special, secret formula that always guarantees victory?

As chess is a multifaceted game, there’s no one uniform tactic or strategy that works for every single player all the time. Every player has his or her own unique style of play. What works for one player may not work as well for another.

However, despite their differences, people who win in chess have one thing in common.

What is it?

The secret ingredient to make you win

Grandmaster Aaron Nimzowitsch said, “Many men, many styles. What is chess style, but the intangible expression of the will to win?”

In other words, it’s not enough to memorize dozens of possible chess moves. You need to have the will and determination to win the game. Chances are that in any single game you lose several valuable pieces along the way, and you’ll have to change strategies mid-game. But if you‘re determined and believe you can win, you won’t give up, and will play the game to its end.

The will to win also helps you succeed in finance

The financial world is similar to the chessboard.

While it’s obviously harder to get on your feet after sustaining a financial loss than it is to restart a failed game of chess, you still need the will to win to become a successful investor.

The market may have its ups and downs, but don’t give up. If you are determined to “win,” (read: prepare for a financially successful life) you need to keep reassessing your investing strategies and tactics as you go along.

As your personal situation and the market change, your investment style and strategy should also change. When faced with a market loss… or gain for that matter, re-evaluate your investment strategy and only if necessary change to something more suitable for the particular situation you find yourself in. Don’t make changes just for the sake of doing something new. Make a change if there’s really a compelling reason to recreate your strategy from scratch.

Flexibility is the critical ingredient in a chess game, as well as in investing, but the will to stick to a strategy can often help you win the game even in trying times.

Were you motivated by Grandmaster Aaron Nimzowitsch’s quote? If so, get more inspiring quotes from some of the world’s greatest chess players in the Rich As A King posterbook. Download it for free, here.

Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing, is an avid chess fan, international investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).