Community Champions

Planning for a sporting event ‘like financial planning’

Written by Peter Davison.

Alice DouglassTraining for a major sporting endeavour is like financial planning and tax year end, according to a Highworth professional who should know – she’s doing both.

Financial advisor Alice Douglass is training for the four-day, 308-mile London to Paris bike ride in August this year, and likens her training to the financial planning she does with her clients.

“To train for any challenge requires careful planning,” said Alice.

“Milestones need to be reached by certain timescales and if they aren’t plans need to be adjusted or expectations altered.

“If I fail to do sufficient training for the London to Paris bike ride, there is every chance I will not be able to fully complete the ride.”

If clients start planning for their financial futures early, says Alice, it means that their goals are more likely to be met.

If they leave this too late, they may need to adjust their expectations or, if planning for their retirement for example, work for longer.

Alice is, by her own admission, a complete novice cyclist who has only recently got onto a road bike for the first time since she was in her teens when she had a “racer” bike.

She has got a training plan mapped out and has taken on the help of her neighbour who is a bit of a cycling expert.

“Woody [my neighbour] has provided me with all of the equipment I have needed, including the bike, we have mapped out a plan together and he ensures I am keeping to it.”

Alice sees Woody a bit like a financial advisor – advising her on the best equipment is like her recommending the right investment vehicle for her clients, the training plan is like the financial plan Alice works on with her clients.

The annual reviews Alice has with her clients to make sure they are on track to achieve their financial objectives are like Woody ensuring Alice is sticking to the plan.

An important milestone for Alice will be when she goes out wearing her cliques, which she has only worn at spinning so far.

If she falls off on the first attempt, she is sure she will get back on the bike.

For anyone doing their financial planning, an important milestone is also approaching – tax year end.

“If this deadline is missed, you cannot “get back on your bike” and certain tax allowances will be lost,” warned Alice.

Alice aims to raise £1,800 for Neuroblastoma UK, which raises funds for research into the rare childhood cancer. To sponsor her visit