Detailed, diligent, leader, clear-communicator, and hardworking…these are the outstanding characteristics found within a Super Bowl winning quarterback. These players captain the team, implement the strategy, and guide the other players. My question…are these also traits of your current financial advisor? 

When evaluating your financial advisor, I would argue the same traits of a Super Bowl caliber quarterback are the key traits to look for in a financial advisor. In addition to the traits listed above, I would add poise and calm during uncertain market environments, honest and transparent communication when making decisions, and finally being able to deliver on the plans and implementation of your financial strategy. Love or hate him, it’s been noted that Tom Brady, five-time Super Bowl champion, during the off-season, maps out and plans the activities of every day leading up to the Super Bowl. He prepares himself in a way so that he is emotionally, physically, and mentally ready for the biggest stage. Wouldn’t you want to feel this way on the day of your retirement, i.e. your Super Bowl? 

Quarterbacks don’t show up on a game day and hope for the best. It takes years of diligent preparation, film study, and practice, just as it takes years to save, plan, and make adjustments along your journey to retirement. When a Super Bowl winning quarterback steps into the huddle to call the play, as his teammate, you want to sense confidence, clarity, and conviction. As you meet with your financial advisor in preparation for your retirement, your family should be in the huddle together, with your advisor as your retirement quarterback, guiding you through the game plan and instilling confidence in the strategies in place. Now, things will take place that are out of your control. The last play might not work as expected and result in a loss, a medical situation may arise-, or time may be running out, but your financial advisor should always have a plan and strategy in place in preparation for what may happen next. Do you feel this way? Is your advisor proactive? Is your financial quarterback leading you down the field during crunch time or are you on the side line, observing from afar and hoping you can throw a Hail Mary in retirement and have it work?

To help guide you to finding a financial advisor that will be your Super Bowl winning retirement quarterback, I have ten traits you should evaluate when picking the starting QB for your financial team. 

  1. Film Study: Has your QB prepared for your meetings and for your questions? Do we know the strategy behind the plans he/she is suggesting?
  2. Practice: Through diligence, hard-work, and persistence, is your financial coach seasoned?
  3. Experience: Are you your advisor’s best client? I would prefer that my retirement QB has been to the Super Bowl before and helped others in similar situations.  
  4. Intangibles: Do you enjoy being around your advisor? 
  5. Team: Does your advisor have the resources and technology to help you make qualitatively better decisions over time? 
  6. Preparation: Has your Retirement QB thought through each situation? 
  7. Leader: Can your advisor provide the perspective and clarity you need to make great decisions? 
  8. Anticipation: Is your Retirement QB thinking ahead or reacting after it’s too late? 
  9. Communication: Do you know when your next meeting is planned? If asked, will your advisor give you a quick response or a thoughtful, correct answer? 

These traits and questions provide you a starting place to successfully choose the right financial advisor. Please contact a local Trilogy Financial advisor to ensure you have a Super Bowl caliber retirement QB. 

Written by Mark Nicolet and Mike Broker, CFP®

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