If you haven’t seen the movie, “American Sniper,” I highly recommend it.

There’s a phrase used in the movie, “Aim small, miss small” that sounded familiar to me.

So googled it and, sure enough, that same phrase was also used in “The Patriot” starring Mel Gibson. Gibson’s character is giving his young sons some final shooting pointers before they try and rescue the oldest son from the British.

After Gibson’s character finishes his instructions, he reminds them, “What did I tell you fellas about shooting?” Both boys respond simultaneously, “Aim small, miss small.”

In other words, if they simply aim at the British soldier, they could miss him altogether. But if they aim at something on him that is smaller – like his belt buckle or a button on his shirt – and they miss that, then at least they will hit something.

This is a great idea when it comes to your money and finances. Whether it’s saving, investing, or controlling your spending, “aim small, miss small” makes a lot of sense.

In other words, don’t just aim at “saving more,” or “investing more” or “spending less,” because you could miss your target altogether.  

For example, consider your emergency fund.

This is your “stash of cash” that you can always get your hands on immediately. It’s for those inopportune times like if you lost your job, or your car breaks down, or the dishwasher stops working.

We all need access to immediate cash in the event of an emergency so when it happens (not if, when!) you don’t have to reach for a credit card.

So instead of trying to save up three to six months of your monthly living expenses like many financial advisors tell you, “aim smaller.”

Try depositing 10% of every paycheck into your emergency fund. That’s a much smaller target than shooting at three to six months of living expenses.  

Most of our financial planning areas are like this.

Doing the smaller things usually takes care of the bigger things. For example, let’s say you set a goal of systematically saving 10% of your paycheck. But one month, you can only save 5%. You may have missed your 10% target – but at least you hit some part of the bigger target by saving 5%.     

“Aim small, miss small” isn’t just for shooting a gun. It’s also a great metaphor for handling your money and your finances.

Securities offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Matt Montgomery,

a Registered Investment Advisor not affiliated with

Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., 1504 East Rusk, Jacksonville, Texas,


* An Index is a portfolio of specific securities

(common examples are S&P, DJIA, NASDAQ),

 the performance of which is used as a benchmark in judging the relative performance

of certain asset classes.

Indexes are un-managed

portfolios and investors

cannot invest directly

in an index.

Past performance

is not indicative

of future results.

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