Some people watch the Super Bowl to cheer on their favorite team.

Others watch for the advertisements. Some just want an excuse to eat chicken wings. We watch for the strategy.

Does a team try to get the running game going early? What kind of coverage are they using? How do they adjust after halftime? When the talent on the field is roughly equal, these are the decisions that mean the difference between winning and losing.

Same goes for your finances. It’s one thing to have money. It’s another thing to have a strategy in place to make it work for you.

Don’t look for the Hail Mary

Everyone enjoys a good Hail Mary pass to end the first half. But let’s remind ourselves of why they call it that. It’s a last resort when time is winding down. If you saw a quarterback throw a Hail Mary in the first quarter, you’d wonder how they got their team to the Super Bowl in the first place.

When it comes to finances, it can be tempting to chase the “hot stock,” hoping for quick and immediate games. While that approach is certainly exciting, it also almost never works.

In the same way, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. If all of your assets are tied up in one type of asset, you are vulnerable to losing your entire future. And, unlike touchdowns, there are taxes on the “points” you earn into retirement.

Always have a backup plan

Ever notice how a well-coached team that falls behind at the half manages to stem the tide after the first half. That’s not a coincidence. Coaches observe what’s happening on the field, and make adjustments accordingly, often putting the other team on the defensive (figuratively and literally). Same goes for your finances. You need to have some liquid depth, so to speak. What if the economy goes into a recession?

Ever notice how playoff teams seem to add players toward the end of the season? It’s all about depth. You need a plan to make sure you aren’t forced to deplete your funds when the markets are down. What about a job loss or long-term disability? Do you have money in your savings to avoid having to compromise your retirement strategy?

Have a staff that can help you

If you read our column regularly, you know we advocate having an adviser you can trust to achieve your financial goals. But, while a coach is the most visible person on the sidelines, every organization has a whole team devoted to making sure an offense runs smoothly.

You should have specialists available in every area, including investment management, financial planning, estate planning, insurance and taxes. Of course, a great coach ties that all together and can help align all of that expertise with your financial goals.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb, financial advisers at Wealth Enhancement Group and co-hosts of “Your Money” on News Radio 830 WCCO on Sunday mornings. Email Bruce and Peg at
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Wealth Enhancement Group and Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services are separate entities from LPL.