The Golf Caddie Analogy

Throughout the years, I’ve found that people tend to have a wide range of expectations that come to mind when they hear the term “Financial Advisor.” And it’s no wonder that sometimes even the advisors themselves have differing opinions on the term, and certainly different approaches to serving their clients. I’d like to outline what it means for me to be a financial advisor for my clients, and it’s not dissimilar to the relationship a golfer has with their caddie.

The Caddie’s Role in Golf

For a touring pro, there is a very unique relationship between them and their caddie. Not only does the caddie carry the players bag, but they also carry with them a wealth of wisdom about the course, the weather conditions, the player, the field, and the game in general. Perhaps more importantly, they also carry the player’s trust to give solid, actionable advice even in tense situations when the stakes are highest. A good caddie provides a reliable sounding board for the decisions ahead, and is often the voice of reason in difficult situations.

My role as a Financial Advisor

While there is no official rule that states a golfer must use a caddie, playing without such a valuable resource can put the player at a competitive disadvantage. Financially speaking, trying to “carry your own bag” by making your own investments and financial decisions might not be the best idea either. The financial advisor, like the caddie can lend a special knowledge of the course, the dangers, layup positions, club selection, and the sucker-pin placements. It’s handy information to have when trying to decide whether to go for it or hold back, especially when everything is on the line. They are also there to help you to eliminate mistakes and avoid unnecessary penalties or even disqualification. A trusted caddie with intimate knowledge of all of the factors surrounding a golfer’s next shot is just as valuable as a good financial advisor when it comes to evaluating your next financial move. And, it can make all the difference in determining where you finish.

Fuzzy Zoeller, after winning the 1979 Masters at Augusta remarked:

“I never had any thought the whole week. I figured my caddie (Jerry Beard) knew the course a lot better than me, so I put out my hand and played whatever club he put in it. I’d say “How hard do I hit it?” He’d tell me and I’d swing. The guys who come down once a year and try to get smart with Mr. Jones’ course are the dumb ones.”

Glittering generalities aside, sometimes the smart play is to simply take advantage of the resources available to you.

In addition, there are only two ways in which someone in the financial services business can help you expand your Circle of Wealth™. The first way would be to help you select better financial products offering perhaps higher rates of return, that often require you to assume more risk.  The second way would be to help you become more efficient with your financial resources (savings, investments and cash flow spending).  Solid Money Solutions specializes in performing the latter contact us today to get started.


Relationships are Fundamental

It’s a funny thing about advice. Everyone seems to have an overabundance of knowing what others should do, and they have no problem telling you about it, especially when the monetary gain is a motivating factor. However, there also seems to be an equal dearth of understanding about who such advice is given to. If you’re anything like us, we do not believe that advice for a “target market” is also solid advice for an individual whether they can be classified as a part of a specific target market or not. Everyone is unique and different individuals and with regard to their financial lives, but also in the way they make decisions about their finances as well. We feel that it is prudent to first understand our clients, their individual situations, and what motivates their decisions before offering advice of any kind. This provides a framework within which to begin helping our clients answer the four toughest financial questions they will face.

  1. What rate of return do you have to earn on your savings and investment dollars to be able to retire at your current standard of living and have your money last through your life expectancy
  2. How much do you need to save on a monthly or annual basis to be able to retire at your current standard of living and your money lasts till life expectancy?
  3. Doing what you are currently doing, how long will you have to work to be able to retire and live your current lifestyle till life expectancy?
  4. If you don’t do anything different than you are doing today, how much will you have to reduce your standard of living at retirement for your money to last to your life expectancy?

The answers to these questions can be given in our first ten minutes together, and they will give you an indication of where you find yourself currently with regard to securing your financial future. Our specialty is rooted in helping folks to improve their current financial position, preferably without impacting their current lifestyle, Our clients can often solve the issues uncovered in the above four questions by focusing first on dollars one could be losing unknowingly and unnecessarily without taking on additional financial risk.

We begin with the seemingly outlandish premise that a solid relationship should be the foundational starting point.