Canadian Legacy Builder

How Hockey Explains Financial Planning

Financial planning is like a hockey game: it’s made up of two key elements: offence and defence. And like any team sport, you need both a good offence and a good defence to win the game.


Guelph, Ontario -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/22/2013 -- This is one of the greatest weeks in sport every year. We find ourselves generally deep in the NHL playoffs while at the same time the Memorial Cup takes place to crown the best Junior Hockey team in Canada so it is an opportune time to speak to the one thing that’s even more important to Canadians than their future financial security: hockey!

One thing I have found over my years is that most Canadians will have implicit trust in either their lawyer, their accountant or their banker. Most individuals will say that they are working with a professional and do not need to work with anyone else because they have it covered. However true planning takes place when it is a team effort and those who have done great things in our society and have gone on to create lasting legacies will give full credit to having a team of professionals work with them.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures and especially at this time of year, a hockey analogy is a great way to establish why a Certified Financial Planner must be the key player on the client’s “Financial Team.” A Certified Financial Planner has every right to stand shoulder to shoulder alongside other professionals such as accountants, lawyers and bankers to be able to create future financial stability.

Financial planning is like a hockey game: it’s made up of two key elements: offence and defence. And like any team sport, you need both a good offence and a good defence to win the game. The offence in Financial planning includes all of the pro-active steps you take to achieve your goals, such as saving for retirement or leaving a legacy for the people you love and the causes you care about. The defence is what you do to protect yourself and your family in case something goes wrong, so your goals are self completing. This includes insurance planning to “defend” yourself against premature death or a long-term disability.

It is important that individuals understand that when they surround themselves with a team of financial professionals playing both offence and defence, they have a greater chance of attaining their goals. The individual should consider each one of these professionals as a member of their team, and that a Certified Financial Planner are only part of that team. In fact, on this team there should be no less than three individuals playing offence. First, there should be an investment advisor, helping set, foster and attain their investment goals. Second, there should be an accountant designing tax strategies to further nurture these goals. Finally there’s the banker who provides short term savings accounts and access to cash.

The two defending players on this team should be an insurance advisor and an attorney. The insurance advisor recommends the right coverage to protect you and your family in case something goes wrong. A certified financial planner can help with both insurance needs and investments, so you could say a CFP is a two-position player who fills both an offensive and defensive role. A good attorney will handle the will, Powers of Attorney and other legacy planning matters.

It is imperative to understand that the defensive part of a financial plan is like a warranty on your goals: making sure your goals are self-completing in case the offensive part of the plan– just like in hockey– does not perform.

Much like in Hockey, there is a goaltender, the individual responsible for “tending to their goals”, and keeping the other players up to date on changes in their financial plan. Working together as a team, all the players– whether offence or defence— help reach the ultimate objectives. So regardless of your hockey affiliation whether your team is still in the playoffs or not, having the best team will ensure that you, the people you love and the causes you care about will not let in the winning goal in overtime of game 7.