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A Team Approach to Wealth Management

With time, things that seemed nonsensical years ago can make a lot of sense now.

In the 1978 hit movie Heaven Can Wait,* gruff football cliches shocked a high-brow board room laser-focused on business. Warren Beatty’s NFL quarterback character is circumstantially forced to surreptitiously borrow the earthly body – and CEO job – of a financier. Plopped at the helm of a heated shareholder’s meeting, he asks for the firm’s financial report card on terms he knows best: “If we were a football team, would you say we had a winning season?”

Absurd? Perhaps then for the laughs, but it’s not so far-fetched today. I think anything we can do to help understand the intricate modern world of financial planning, including sports analogies, can only improve (pun intended) our game.

Let’s apply this logic to your financial strategy and the key parties involved in it.  For example, if your wealth management crew was a sports team built to win, it would look something like this:

  • Owner – This is you. You’re in charge and you get to pick the general manager to build the rest of your organization in your bid to become a successful franchise.
  • General Manager – This is your financial advisor. – In working for you, he or she chooses the coach and players, identifies and shifts strategies based on playing conditions and monitors and handles communications to help keep you apprised of wins and losses.
  • Coach – This is your investment strategist chosen by the GM. They are the larger third-party asset managers who use the bigger picture to painstakingly build and run optimal model portfolios, monitor performance and, when necessary, make key decisions about who plays when and how.
  • Players – These are the individual asset managers who are on the field of play, always working hard in their specialty area to contribute to the larger team results and executing, play by play, on the overall trajectory.

There are many moving pieces to the process of developing and implementing your wealth management strategy. Each participant has a distinct role, including you, to keep the team focused yet versatile enough to help reach your financial goals.

Now somewhat dated, Heaven Can Wait can still bring a smile. But financial planning is no laughing matter. For your best chance at meeting your goals, build a seriously good team and stay actively involved in the oversight.

*Paramount Pictures: IMDB

Dan Randall contributed to this article.

Dan Randall is a registered representative and investment adviser representative of Equity Services, Inc. (ESI), Member FINRA/SIPC, a Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Adviser affiliate of National Life Insurance Company. One National Life Drive, Montpelier, Vermont 05604. (800) 344-7437. Rick Ryan is independent of ESI. This information is intended to be educational in nature, and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any financial product, service or the suitability thereof for you.

Investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future performance. There is no guarantee that an asset manager will meet its stated investment objectives. Financial planning and investment advisory services can be offered solely by investment adviser representatives of an SEC-registered investment adviser.