A Super Bowl Sized Lesson

January 31, 2024

On Sunday, February 11th, 2024, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will face off to see who will become Champions of Super Bowl LVIII! It’s estimated that 200 million adults will tune in to the big game, and there is a reason so many people are invested in watching the Super Bowl showdown each year. 

To get to the final game, each team has been battling long before the season even started. They’ve trained endlessly, learned complex plays, and spent long hours learning how to function together as a team. Despite their careful planning, they’ve contended with injuries, brutal losses, extreme weather conditions, and myriad other obstacles that accompany a football season. The road to victory is not an easy one, and that’s what makes the journey and its spectacular conclusion so universally captivating.  

So, how does an NFL coach lead their team to victory on any given Sunday? They start with thorough preparation, lots of touchpoints throughout the season, and an unwavering dedication to their goals. As Fiduciary Investment Advisors, our approach is more like that of an NFL coach than most realize. To be successful, we both must: 

  • DRAFT – In much the same way a coach recruits their players, it’s critical for investors to assemble the right team. Without the proper credentials and experience, it would be impossible to manage the day-to-day issues facing an investment portfolio.  An investment team also needs to be able to protect your portfolio and manage it for successful future outcomes. When drafting a team to help manage your finances, it’s important to select a financial advisor (ideally a Certified Financial PlannerTM), a tax professional, and an estate planner.  
  • EVALUATE – Just as NFL coaches substitute players throughout the season based on player performance, the professionals on your team also need to be able to evaluate your portfolio and needs, based on the varying stages of your financial journey (accumulation, retirement, legacy). That evaluation should then be used to adjust your lineup (i.e. portfolio) or the strategy behind your next plan (i.e. recommendations). 
  • STAY THE COURSE – It’s easy to lose hope when your star quarterback is out, the weather seems to consistently be against you, and there are fewer ticks in the win column than you would like. However, the best teams find a way to maintain their drive and remember that the season is 18 weeks long. Likewise, investors must stay the course when the market is volatile, personal situations and needs change, the world is different and concerning in many new ways, and we seem to have control over nothing. It is during these times that a team’s dedication and experience make the winning difference. 

In all, the financial journeys we plan for our clients are not that unlike the journey to Super Bowl victory. Both involve weathering conditions outside of one’s control and the ability to call an audible when needed. Most importantly, for the winners, it also means maintaining a focus on the goal at hand while contending with sometimes unpredictable conditions. So, as you watch the game alongside millions of other fans on February 11, remember the intrigue of the big game stems from our interest in the conclusion of what has been a long and demanding journey for both teams. 

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