By Cecilia T. Williams, CFP®, AIF®, Director of Investment Operations/CCO at Halbert Hargrove.

I have been a football fan since I was a little girl.  I had no particular team allegiance; I just loved the competitiveness and grit of the game.  Soon after joining HH, I had the opportunity to travel to Boston frequently for conferences.  I fell in love with the city, the food, and their cherished quarterback, Tom Brady.  His championship mindset inspired me in many ways outside of football, and although not quite as exciting, I took away many lessons throughout the years that can also be applied to personal finances.


What makes a super star athlete? Sure, physical ability, innate talent, and understanding of the game is critical. But the lesson learned from a 6th round draft pick turned seven-time Super Bowl champion is that discipline trumps all. Creating a plan and sticking to it consistently is what makes all the difference in the long run.

The performance of your investment accounts will mean very little in the grand scheme of things if you don’t have the discipline to contribute to your accounts regularly, stick to your budget, and continue to track your progress to ensure you are meeting your goals.

For more on how to automate your savings, please see HH’s blog on How to Automate Your Savings in 6 Easy Steps.

Course Correction

What happens when the defense shows signs of blitz? It’s likely the QB will call an audible to change the play. Luckily, in life you don’t have a play clock that only allows 40 seconds to make a change. You have time to course correct as major life events happen.

Did you have a large, unexpected expenditure that caused you to dip into your savings? Have you had a promotion or a relocation opportunity that could significantly increase your income? Is a child or grandchild on the way? Whether the event is good or bad, most life events impact your finances in some way. Take the time, at least annually, to go back to your plan and adjust as needed to ensure you are still on track to meet your long-term goals.

Experience Matters

As of 2021, only 20 teams in the NFL have ever claimed the coveted title of Super Bowl Champions. So when a quarterback is appearing in his 10th Super Bowl, do you think this impacts the game? Absolutely. This experience undoubtedly helps in preparation, planning, and ultimately execution.

The same is true for many other aspects of our lives. Buying or selling a home, tax planning, or retirement planning are just a few examples. Working with experienced professionals who have done this before and have true expertise can make a big difference. This also enables you to avoid the burden of handling all of this yourself!

The Super Bowl Curse:  Beware of past performance

It is a rare occurrence for Super Bowl winners to make it back to the big game in consecutive years. It is even more of an anomaly for them to actually win both games twice – only seven teams in NFL history have accomplished this feat. It helps to keep that in mind when it comes to investing.

Rarely does the same asset class, stock, or mutual fund perform similarly year after year. That’s where diversification and patience come into play. Over time, a solid mix of well-diversified investments has the potential to reduce volatility and provide a steadier stream of results that can help you achieve your long-term goals.

We get it: None of this is particularly glamorous – but it is exactly what goes on behind the scenes of the most successful football teams. We hope you can use some of this to guide you through your own financial playbook in the future.

How do you balance having the life you want to enjoy today with what you’re going to need in the future? Are you doing what it takes to enter your dream retirement? TAKE OUR QUIZ to find out.