“Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball.”
– Phil Jackson,
Eleven -time NBA championship coach with
the highest winning percentage in league history
March Madness Meets Money Management
This is a book about financial planning. It’s filled with ideas and insights to help you take control of your financial affairs and make possible the lifestyle you’ve always envisioned for you and your family.
Sometimes financial planning can be boring, and that comes straight from me, a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). I’m a guy who has made his living in this profession for more than thirty years. Before you drop this book and flip on ESPN, let me explain.
Although the words “personal financial management” probably don’t make you bristle with excitement, they are nonetheless critical to your well-being as well as that of your spouse and kids. Most adult professionals realize this already. They know planning is important, but they fail to do it well, because, frankly, they just can’t bear to spend hours poring over budget spreadsheets and stock charts and insurance contracts, or whatever they imagine when they think of money management. It’s not quite as daunting as they think.
The problem is a disconnect between professional money managers and everyone else. Too often, financial professionals rely on historical charts and esoteric language to make a point. The message gets lost in translation. Even though their own money is at stake, many people just don’t find financial planning interesting enough to devote the time and energy required to do so.
There is a way to change that, however, if we in the financial world communicate everyday terms and relate to our clients using language they not only understand but enjoy. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years, from young professionals just starting in the world to multimillionaire executives and professional athletes. One thing I’ve learned is that most people like a good analogy. By using familiar examples, we can make complex topics more approachable and engaging.
As you’ve probably guessed, that’s where basketball comes into play in this book.
Using sports terms to communicate is nothing new. Business people, politicians, and professionals of all ilks are called upon to build strong teams, bring their A game, follow through, and hit the proverbial home run.
A love of sports is ingrained in American culture to the point that even individuals who are decidedly apathetic toward sports still know what it means to drop the ball, strike out, or throw a Hail Mary. For those of us who willingly make sports a part of our lives, there’s a light bulb that turns on when someone compares an otherwise obscure concept to our favorite sport.
For me, that game as always been basketball – college basketball, specifically. Growing up in Indiana, I was predestined to be a basketball nut. If you’ve spent much time in the Hoosier State, you know that basketball isn’t just popular there. For a large percentage of the population, it’s like an obsession like football in Texas or hockey in Minnesota. I wasn’t a star athlete, but basketball spoke to me nonetheless. It still does.
As I’ve built my career guiding clients toward financial security, I’ve spent considerable downtime in the clutches of the NCAA basketball season, infatuated with the perennial drama that culminates in March Madness. I’ve often been struck by the parallels between these two worlds; they have so much in common. In basketball and in investing, there are star performers and reliable role players. There are good seasons and bad ones followed by rebuilding years. There are tried-and-true strategies, and there are desperate measures. Always, there is the clock ticking overhead.
Make no mistake: simple sports analogies are no substitute for in-depth financial knowledge backed by research and experience. But if you speak the language of basketball, this book can help you approach your financial affairs from a familiar, perhaps more inspiring perspective.
© 2014 Chuck Thoele
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.