What Sully and Golf clubs could teach us about finances?

As a financial advisor I often use the analogy of a golfer when we talk about what financial products we should use.

According to the USGA, a golfer is allowed to have 14 clubs in his bag. There are the standard 12 clubs in many golf bags. If the golfer starts with a number of clubs in his bag less than 14, he can add to the number of clubs until he reaches 14.

The golfer does not decide which club to use until they get to the ball and can assess the circumstances and what he/she needs to play the best shot. Things like wind, slope, distance, height, obstacles, how far he is ahead or behind – these all influence his/her decision.

In my financial practice I believe in offering the right club for the right needs of each individual family crafted around their unique wants and needs.

Often the safest club in the bag is the putter. This little “Safe” club counts as much as the long driver. Often one putt can mean the difference of millions in prize money. 

The “Safe Club Putter” in the financial world could be a Max-Funded, Non-MEC permanent life insurance policy.

So what does Sully have to do with the putter?

I have often told the story of the US airplane that landed on the Hudson on March 4th in 2009. Suppose you could have been offered life insurance on board that plane once Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger came over the loud speaker and announced that they were going down? Would you have required a “needs analysis” to determine how much life insurance you would like to have in force?

The miracle of the Hudson was that every single passenger walked off that plane. I don’t know if any of them were wise enough to rethink their life insurance portfolio after they landed. However, I am certain that every one of them thought about it on the way to the water.

It is interesting that in times of crisis our brain seems to think clearer about this subject than when we have time to decide. Every “needs analysis” will come up short of “all the coverage the company will issue.” Every person on that plane would have purchased “all the coverage the company will issue” given the chance.

Whether it be for College Planning or Retirement Financial Planning, let’s PLAN

Dave Coen is CEO of College Planning America and a Registered Representative at Sageview Advisory
Tel: 714-813-1703        davec@collegeplanningamerica.com