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What your investments and Final Four brackets should have in common

close up of basketball having just been dunked through the hoop
March 15, 2016

By Alissa Green

Looking forward to the Final Four Tournament this month? It’s hard not to be captivated by the sheer will of some of these teams. Seems like every other day, underdogs are pulling upsets and the top seeds risk the empires they spent the entire season building. When an underdog team upsets a 1-seed it's exhilarating. It’s also why the month is called March Madness. You may recall when Warren Buffet offered to pay anyone with a perfect bracket in 2014 a cool million dollars. Can you guess how many won? Try zero.

At this point, you’re likely thinking – so, why’s my credit union talking to me about basketball?

One word: Diversification.**

Just like you can’t guarantee which basketball team will make the Final Four, you can’t guarantee which investment will perform best for you in the long or short term. That’s why it’s better for your financial health to invest in a wide variety of financial products instead of one. What types of funds should you invest in? Generally speaking, it’s wise to invest in large cap, mid cap and small cap stocks, as well as bonds. You should also be investing across industries and markets (U.S. and International). Plus, let’s not forget a rainy day cushion not tied to the markets.

Think of it as completing multiple brackets, so you have a better shot.

Diversification also lets you follow your heart while also following your research. Think about how much time you read the sports section or sites like or Grantland. Now, imagine spending just a fraction of that time researching financial investments. Sound scary? It doesn’t have to be!

Just like you rely on your TV anchor to advise you on basketball match-ups, there are people like that whose sole area of focus is financial services.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider meeting with a financial consultant (Alliant offers this service free of charge for members). There are also independent sites like Morning Star, which has a long history of rating the merit and potential of financial funds.

Now, I’ll tell you a small secret. Before I met my husband, I rarely did a bracket for the Final Four. The horror! I know.

I felt clueless and overwhelmed. The first year we were together, he showed me how to fill out my bracket and which online sports sites offered the best advice. He also showed me how to properly do my research so I knew what mattered in each match-up. Turns out, there’s a lot about basketball I didn’t know. The same can be said of financial options and investments, but that’s no reason to sit out the game on the sidelines.


Want to discuss your mix of investments? Then call 800-328-1935 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation financial planning session with a financial consultant with Alliant Retirement and Investment Services.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Alliant Credit Union and Alliant Retirement and Investment Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial. The financial consultants of Alliant Retirement and Investment Services are registered representatives of LPL Financial. The LPL Financial Registered Representatives associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, WA, WI, WV, WY.

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The LPL Financial Registered Representatives associated with this site may discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of all 50 states.
*Financial consultants registered with LPL Financial.

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