Broker Check

Do You Need a Financial Caddie?

August 24, 2021

Earlier this year I watched Jon Rahm nail an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the U.S. Open. This followed an even more impressive 24-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole. It was an extraordinary finale.

Had Jon miscalculated and missed these final two putts it is likely that the second-place finisher Louis Oosthuizen would have gone home with the extra $1 million instead of Rahm. Fortunately for Jon, however, he had a caddie to help minimize such miscalculations. Everyone knows that a caddie’s job is to carry the golf bag. But a caddie does much more than just carry the bag. He is more of a partner to the player.

A caddie has a wealth of knowledge about the course being played. He wakes up early to walk the course, measure distances and identify hazards. The caddie provides a general strategy of each shot. He helps the player with club selection after considering the distance, wind speed and knowledge of the player’s strengths and weaknesses. He gives advice on the line of the putt. He knows the specifics of the player’s swing and mental condition. A caddie also provides mental and moral support during high pressure situations. He provides encouragement with a tight lie and keeps the player calm when the ball is in the tall grass. If the player is inclined to take a risky shot when he is ahead on the leaderboard, the caddie explains the unnecessary risk he may be taking.1

Good financial advisors are like caddies. They study the financial environment; they keep current on financial planning concepts, tax laws, inflation expectations and interest rate movements. They understand their clients’ objectives and develop plans to meet these objectives. Good financial planning is more than just the selection of investment products. It is a holistic enterprise integrating various disciplines, including investment, retirement planning, estate planning, and insurance. Good advisors address the gaps that may exist in their clients’ financial situations. For example, if a client has neglected to safeguard against the possibility of a long-term care event, a good financial advisor will encourage the client to address this risk. Good advisors also monitor threats that may disrupt the financial plan, and adjust their recommendations when circumstances change.

Good financial advisors also provide mental and moral support. They serve as a mentor and coach to help their clients separate their emotions from financial decisions. They encourage clients to maintain their focus when times get tough, or when something comes along that sounds like a great opportunity, but may actually de-rail the financial game plan.2

At the Family Wealth Decisions Group we like to think of ourselves as a financial caddie for our clients. We spend a good amount of time getting to know our clients, their objectives, and their financial situations.  In a collaborative partnership we develop a holistic financial plan with them. Moreover, we put the plan in writing.  We provide moral and emotional support during stressful times. We continually monitor the plan to assure that it remains on track. We meet with our clients regularly to discuss the status of their plans and decide if adjustments are appropriate. If you would like to discuss the advantages of developing a financial plan for you and your family, please feel free to contact us. Remember, we are here to help.

Doug Lemons, CFP®

Doug Lemons maintains his CFP certification and only provides financial planning management services to LFA financial planners and professionals. He is not currently licensed to provide investment advisory or financial planning services directly to an LFA client. CRN-3723777-081921