By David Thatcher, CFP®
Imagine watching the Superbowl, but you are the owner of the team on the field. Two minutes left, the game is tied, and your team has the ball on your opponent’s 20-yard line. And your offense goes in without a quarterback.
The linemen are ready to read the defense and block. The running backs and receivers are ready to execute with any number of different plays. But no one does anything. Because they don’t know what to do. There is no one on the field calling the plays.
Without anyone to give direction and coordinate to the offense, they won’t accomplish anything, regardless of how skilled they are or how close they are to the end zone. Imagine the uproar if that happened in real life.
It would never happen in a football game, but in the financial game of life it happens all the time. How well coordinated is your financial life? You probably have an attorney and a CPA, maybe an insurance broker, too. While they may have years of schooling and are highly qualified, are they working together toward a common goal? Then you add in giving to charities, supporting family members, as well as leaving a legacy for them. Who is making sure everything and everyone is moving in the right direction? Who is your financial Quarterback?
Many times people try to be team owner and also the quarterback. This can lead to significant gaps in seeing the game and the future of your team clearly. If there isn’t a financial professional in your life taking the role as quarterback and executing on the field for you, the legacy of your team may have some difficult times ahead.
So now the question is, who should you get to run the field? The ideal person is someone who understands your financial life and communicates well with you, your spouse and other family members. A good financial advisor should understand investing but also estate planning and tax implications. They can take on this role for your team as the financial quarterback. They don’t replace the CPA, estate planning attorney or other advisors, but rather facilitate communication among them and the team owner. If done properly, this can also greatly increase the success as your legacy is passed down. With every financial professional understanding your game plan and watching over each other, you greatly reduce the risk of one party going rogue.
The first step in a championship season (or life) is defining what a win looks like. For football it’s easy—you want touchdowns. In life, it’s not as clear-cut. Every individual defines a winning life differently, so it’s important to understand priorities. Possibly more important is to understand the existing roadblocks and develop a game plan to overcome them.
Once you have defined a win, there needs to be a playbook for everyone to follow with roles and responsibilities. Just like in a football game, your financial life has a lot of moving parts. There are family dynamics, investments, insurance, estate and tax planning, charitable giving, cash flow, etc. Every player on your financial team has an important part to play, from your CPA to your attorney. The financial quarterback’s job is to get everyone working together to accomplish your goals.
If you really did own an NFL team, chances are that if you intend to hand over the team to your children you would help prepare them for it. Yet, when people hope to leave a financial legacy to loved ones, little is done to help prepare those receiving it.
Under the direction of the team owner, a good financial quarterback will be working with the next in line to own the team. They will help them understand the game on the field so that when they step into the owners’ box they can avoid costly mistakes and have a deeper understanding of what it takes to be financially successful. You have worked hard for everything you have, so you want to ensure that the next generation is ready to take it on.
You own the team, but who is your quarterback? If you don’t know, it’s probably time to find one. There is a good chance you already have a financial planner/financial advisors, but are they “Financial doers”?
Nobody is ever going to take your role as team owner, but maybe you are ready to direct the plays on the field from the skybox. If you would like more information on finding a financial quarterback, please call 1-866-888-6563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cypress Wealth Services (CWS) is an independent Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm that provides proactive financial advice and investment management for high net worth families, business owners, and institutions. Cypress Wealth Services comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience, qualifications and is uniquely qualified to serve a broad range of client needs. CWS’s experience and expertise have been the foundation for their proactive client service process and client Standard of Care. CWS’s multi-generational approach focuses on efficiently protecting and growing wealth while providing proactive financial advice as a client moves through each new stage of life. With offices in Palm Desert, CA, and Anchorage, AK, the firm serves clients across the country. For more information, visit www.CypressWS.com or call 760.834.7250.