7 Ways Financial Advisors Are Like NFL Players

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NFL_superbowlSuper Bowl Sunday is upon us. As you get ready to watch the match-up and eat an inordinate amount of nachos, you might be thinking that your life could not be any more different than the lives of the NFL players running around on your screen. Well, think again. Below, we share the top 7 things that financial advisors have in common with big, tough football stars:

1. You Have to Know the Rulebook

From tackling to celebrating to proper sock-wearing, the NFL rulebook covers just about every topic and scenario imaginable. Players are responsible for remembering all 121 pages of it if they want to avoid penalties, fines, and suspensions.

Sound familiar? Just like NFL players, financial advisors have quite a few rules to keep track of—SEC requirements, FINRA regulations, you name it. On the bright side, at least your compliance department can’t fine you for wearing your socks too low (yet). To help you navigate some of the rules that do exist, here’s a handy checklist for meeting your fiduciary duty.

2. You Plan Ahead…

Over the last two weeks, the Seahawks and Broncos have spent hours culling through their respective playbooks to crystalize a game-play strategy that accentuates the other team’s weaknesses. NFL players study tapes, analyze data, and identify patterns to create game plans that win.

You know what that’s like. Through careful planning that takes into account your clients’ history, assets, and goals, you develop long-term financial plans rooted in research that give your clients the best chance at a prosperous future.

3. …But Also Face Unexpected Climates and Events

Plans are great. But once on the field, anything can happen—and the best NFL players know how to create opportunities when the unexpected occurs, whether that be freezing rain, an early injury to the quarterback, or a terrible call from the referee.

Financial advisors might not be as impacted by the weather, but you certainly have to deal with unexpected changes in the economic climate and unexpected events in your clients’ lives. It’s your job to ease client anxiety, and avoid the “CNBC effect” during these times. Great advisors are able to adapt plans in the face of unanticipated events and have equipped clients with the knowledge that a little rain won’t stop their game.

4. Your Stats Matter

Say what you will about outspoken Seahawks player Richard Sherman, but he hit the nail on the head in this crazy interview when he said, “Numbers don’t lie.” For players, stats are paramount—a critical way to communicate their value to coaches, fans, and the media.

Your clients are hungry for stats, too. Simple, digestible data points that help them understand the state of their accounts. Tools like Blueleaf’s Client Portal and Account Aggregation help you easily report key stats to clients so they can get a comprehensive picture of where they stand (you can try the Blueleaf tools for free).

5. You Have a Busy Season

For NFL players, football is a year-round job. But it all comes down to January and February. Once the playoffs start, the pressure is on—mentally, physically, and emotionally—as players compete to earn their teams a spot in the coveted Super Bowl.

All that probably sounds like a vacation compared to what you go through in April. Tax season means late nights at the office, missed family dinners, and unhealthy amounts of coffee—all so you can help your clients succeed. Want to hate April less? Read up on how two advisors make busy season a little less insane.

6. You Make Weekends More Fun (When Things Go Well)

Many Americans take great pleasure in spending their Sundays watching football. Beer in hand, fans across the country relish the opportunity to see their favorite players lead their teams to victory.

That’s what it’s all about for you, too—paving the way for your clients to make smart financial choices that let them enjoy life more. With the right plan, your clients are poised responsibly indulge in their own weekend recreations. That’s a win in our book!

7. You Have a Victory Dance

C’mon, admit it…


Use This Analogy To Engage Clients (Even Prospects)

National events like Super Bowl Sunday provide a great hook for reaching prospective clients and engaging current ones. Share this post with your audience in an email or via social media (Tweet it!) and take the chance to invite new clients to contact you for help creating a financial “game plan”, no shoulder pads required.

Ellen is a communications strategist and a blog contributor at Blueleaf. She’s experienced with creating strategic outreach and engagement campaigns for agencies, large corporations, nonprofit organizations, and social-issue films. Ellen just completed the marketing track at Boston’s Startup Institute and is on the prowl for her next adventure.
  • Bob February 3, 2014, 8:50 pm

    As a financial advisor and football enthusiast, I really loved reading this piece! And for the record, my victory dance is way cooler

    • Carolyn McRae February 3, 2014, 9:35 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it, Bob. And if you ever make a .gif of your awesome victory dance, send it to me – We’ll write you in! (Honestly.)