What do you think would happen if most people spent as much time planning their retirement and investments each year as they use watching football? I speculate we would all have a lot more money, be better prepared for retirement, and maybe already be able to provide tickets to the Super Bowl every year.
Steve Roberts, with nearly twenty years of experience in the financial industry, knows that most people – including himself – would rather play or watch football than the stock market. After all, Steve himself was a three – sport letterman in high school, lettering in football, basketball, and baseball. He was a member of Ricks Junior College football team, and today he coaches youth football. But that doesn’t average he doesn’t value financial planning and realize its importance. What it does average is he had the bright idea to write a book about financial planning using football metaphors to make the topic not only more interesting but easier to understand for his many readers.
Steve breaks down his new book, “Football Financial Planning,” into three sections: Defense; Offense; and Coaches, Special Teams, and Systems. Then in each section, he discusses a valuable asset for your retirement or investing portfolio, and he compares that investment to a player in football. For example, he compares auto insurance to a defensive tackle and universal life insurance to an outside linebacker – these are players on your defense because you need them to protect your assets. Players on your offense include the center (your checking account), a right tackle (fixed annuity), and a tight end (bonds). Steve realizes that you may not always need every player on your team, but he walks you by the benefits in addition as disadvantages of each player so you can decide whom you do want on your team and how you can use those players to create the best possible game plan for yourself.
I’ve read several financial planning books in the past, and they all are helpful in various ways. What makes Football Financial Planning stand out is not only that the football metaphor is fun, but that the way Steve breaks down the team makes each player or financial tool very easy to understand; because each player/investment product is a chapter by itself, the book is also easy to reach for referring back to and finding specific items later.
Steve makes the discussion easy to follow, and he really made me think about the different financial options out there and why certain ones would be great assets to have on my team while others would not. In the end, he reminds us that each of us is the team owner and already the quarterback of our own team, so we have to make the decisions on the plays.
As an additional bonus, Steve provides play charts for avid football fans so they can see how their financial offense or defense adds up. At the end of each chapter, he also provides a short chart or worksheet for the reader to fill out, asking questions about things such as insurance deductibles, projected cash value, or income so people can write all their information down and keep it in one easy to find and remember location, in addition as estimate the different possibilities that exist for their financial game plan.
In the end, Steve’s complete system boils down to calculating what system or philosophy works best for you because no one team will work for everyone. Steve highlights this point with the following story:
“To win a game (score big in your investments), it is very important to have a system (philosophy) that matches your quarterback’s abilities and talents. One university that has produced many great college quarterbacks is Brigham Young University (BYU); however, not all of BYU’s great quarterbacks have had success in the NFL. I once heard BYU’s former coach, Lavell Edwards, say that he believes Marc Wilson, one of his great quarterbacks, would have been more successful in the NFL if he had played in a different system. The point here is you need to make sure the system and philosophy your coaches implement matches your needs and abilities. There are systems out there that others are pushing and selling that work for most people, and they may work for you, but they may not be the best fit for you. Some examples of systems that people may be pushing are to buy an outside linebacker term life insurance and invest the rest in mutual fund running backs. This person’s system may also include telling you never to buy a variable annuity. Every person’s situation is different, so everyone else’s team may look a little different than yours; the important thing is to find the system and coaches that work for you.”
Whether you love football or you just want to get clear about your financial situation and be prepared to score a touchdown to win the game when it’s time to retire, Football Financial Planning can give you the tools you need now to create the investing system that works for you. Then, when the game is over, you will have a great nest egg to last you for the rest of your life.