Financial Planning is Like Playing Football

You’ve met with your financial advisor, and she said you are doing well so far, having accumulated $400,000 in your retirement account. She then tells you that if you can increase that nest egg to $1,000,000 by the time you are 65, then you can comfortably live the retirement lifestyle you envision. What is your financial plan to accumulate the remaining 60% that goal?

I was watching my favorite football team on TV the other day, the Seattle Seahawks. They had the ball on their own 40-yard line, with 60 more yards to gain to score a touchdown. Their coach, Pete Carroll, was conferring with the quarterback Russell Wilson on the sidelines. It struck me that their game plan has similarities to your financial plan. You’ve accomplished 40% of your goal with 60% remaining. Much of terminology in football is even the same as in financial planning: goals, gains, losses, protection, etc.

Your financial advisor can be the coach, advising what plays to run, but you are the quarterback, responsible for executing those plays on the field. The football represents your money. It even looks like a nest egg. Your Center could be your employer, hiking the football to you. If you elect to hold the football yourself and try to run with it, your gains will likely be meager, and you may never reach the goal line. Fortunately, you have a team to help you make gains down the field:

Wide Receiver (left) = IRA Wide Receiver (right) = 401(k) Tight End = Taxable Brokerage Running Back = Alternative Investments (e.g., real estate) Kicker = Goal Adjustment (i.e., if you can’t reach the goal line, you can settle for something less -- 3-point field goal vs. 6-point touchdown) Linemen = Insurance Policies, CPA's, and Estate Attorneys. These players are your protection. They prevent the opposing team from tackling you for negative yardage.

Your Wide Receivers have the potential for the biggest gains since IRAs and 401(k)s grow tax-deferred. Your tight end holds the taxable brokerage account, but with smart tax strategies, you can make consistent gains down the field. Your running back gives you diversification, so that when your receivers are not producing with stocks and bonds, your running back can produce gains with alternative investments.

The opposing team has a Defense that is trying to prevent your gains, or even create losses. The Defense focused on stopping your Receivers and Running Back include “Risky Investments,” “Inflation,” and “Discretionary Spending.” The Defense that is trying to get past your Linemen and tackle you are “Illnesses,” “Taxes,” and “Lawsuits.”

The main point here is that an effective financial plan involves a whole team of players that you can lean on to create and execute a sound financial plan and score that touchdown. GAME ON!

Recent Posts
Stay up to date with our latest news and articles 

Main Office:

151 Kalmus Drive, Suite C-150 

Costa Mesa, CA 92626 
(714) 850-0534 

(714) 850-0934 FAX  

  • Wix Facebook page
  • LinkedIn App Icon
  • Wix Twitter page

Desert Office:

77-564 Country Club Drive #150

Palm Desert, CA 92211

(760) 350-5049

The information in this website is for U.S. residents only. GW Financial, Inc. described in this website is registered only in the United States and the information on this website does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase funds either in the United States or to persons outside of the United States. 


Content on  is protected by applicable copyright laws. No permission is granted to copy, distribute, modify, post or frame any text, graphics, software code, user interface design or logos.




An investment adviser or IA rep may only transact business in a particular state after licensure or satisfying qualifications requirements of that state, or only if they are excluded or exempted from the state's investment adviser or IA rep requirements, as the case may be. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by an investment adviser or IA rep that involve either the effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, as the case may be, shall not be made without first complying with the state's investment adviser or IA rep requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.


For information concerning the licensure status or disciplinary history of an investment adviser or IA rep,

a consumer should contact his or her stated securities law administrator.

© Copyright 2019 GW Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy