World Cup, here we come

A smart fan’s guide to earning enough for a World Cup visit

By: Sayantani Kar

It is hard to miss those fans who never miss their team’s matches, no matter where they play. India and Bangladesh, for example, have their own flamboyant fixtures. Travelling to watch the World Cup (WC), be it cricket or football, is no more a rare treat. We can have a smart investment plan for it and turn it into a memorable trip.

For those of us who have missed a ticket to England this year for the cricket WC (it is another story that most matches are being rained in), there are always the next ones. The 2023 WC is in India but will be held across cities.

WCs allow us four-five years to prepare for. The cricket WC’s next foreign venue for Indians would be in 2027 (yet to be announced). For the football-crazy, we have the 2022 event in Qatar and 2028 in the US. We could even decide to attend on a shorter notice with an adequate travel fund.

One way to go about planning for a WC is to invest in the stock market astutely, balancing returns with a certain degree of liquidity. This could become our travel fund.

Of course, we would need to account for inflation in the years down the line when targeting a return percentage.

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Here we lay out a plan in the countdown to a WC.

Five years to go:-

Time to think of garnering funds. The sources can be many. But few of them work better such as:-

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – These low-cost (for investors) instruments are excellent in allowing us to earn well off markets.

ETFs are instruments that run on passive strategies as opposed to mutual funds (Mutual Funds give discretion to a fund manager to choose stocks). On the other hand, ETFs move with the financial markets according to a predefined index like NIFTY or SENSEX.

Therefore they offer lower risk compared to individual stocks, because of diversification, while also being cost-effective instruments compared to mutual funds.

While long term investments lean heavily on equities (equity ETFs for eg.), investing in ETFs for our WC travel fund can be a split of 60/40 (equity ETFs/debt ETFs). Debt ETFs allow more stable returns while the stock ETFs can reap benefits off a bull run while we wait for the WC.

Investing with a robo advisor app can be even more convenient for goal-based funds like our WC travel fund. Once we choose our asset allocation and risk appetite, we can leave it to a robo-advisory’s intuitive algorithm to work out the rest.

Bank deposits: Fixed deposits or recurring deposits can also be a relevant tool for a travel fund. A recurring deposit mandate with our savings bank can make good work of ‘hiding awaymoney regularly for our later use.

One-two years to go:-

Closer to the date of travel, say a year out, we could route part of the corpus to only debt ETFs for more stable earnings.

The FDs can also be moved to savings bank account to put in motion the travel arrangements.

Four months-one year to go:-

Bookings for stay and commuting should get done in this time frame to get the best early-bird deals. Usually a four month window is more than enough to land good discounts, but for a WC with fans homing in on the venue from across the world, a one-year headstart might be needed.

Whether in India or abroad, Airbnbs have emerged as a viable alternative to hotels. However, if we shop around, overseas hotels can also fit easily in our budgets.

Throughout the wait:-

We should look for WC fan pages and fora online which have veritable information and discussions. Of course, we should use our discretion to avoid scams.

Absolute no-no:-

Loans: It is best to stay away from taking on debt to attend a WC.

A travel fund and plan will go a long way in helping us fulfill that wish.

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