Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, left, and Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte watch from the sidelines during the English FA Cup final soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in May. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup under way, the coaches of the world’s greatest teams are on tenterhooks, eager to see whether the many hours of intense preparation will propel their teams to victory. And there’s a lot in common between a football coach and a financial adviser, according to Lizl Budhram, head of advice at Old Mutual Personal Finance.

“The value of a good football coach is similar to that of a good financial adviser. It’s about their understanding of strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to put a strategic plan in place that will deliver winning goals,” says Budhram.

“The right sports coach gives you insight into both your growth potential and your limitations, and will also help you identify and take advantage of all the opportunities ahead. Similarly, the right financial adviser looks at the reality of your finances – including the risks and barriers to reaching your goals – and helps you gear your money toward wealth creation and peace of mind.”

Budhram says that in the same way that a coach would not send you into a game unprepared, a good financial adviser would not encourage an expensive holiday when you are struggling to manage debt repayments.

“Honesty is key in these relationships. When a coach asks players to disclose injuries, it is to prevent further harm. It’s also why financial advisers need to have the full picture of your financial status and goals – expenses, debt, income and financial aspirations.”

Budhram believes a good financial planner should never be afraid to advise you “coach-style” when you need improvement – and it’s something you will work on together. “Your adviser should be willing to address areas such as unnecessary debt and excessive expenditure. Through authentic financial mentorship they can be a genuine partner in your financial journey.”

She says that hearing objective and truthful advice on your financial status can sometimes be challenging and difficult to confront. “But this only means that the advice is that much more valuable – it’s an honest relationship on a long-term journey toward your financial wellbeing.

“Good coaches also understand that ‘practice makes perfect’,” says Budhram. “In life, the better you know your own money habits and the more committed you are to achieving your financial goals, the more prepared you will be for any financial season – come World Cup tournament or friendly match.”