Apr. 28, 2016 Article

Draft a wealth advisor to build your financial dream team


It’s hard to believe 29 years have elapsed since the San Diego Chargers called me with exciting news—I had been drafted as the 88th player in the 1987 NFL Draft. Hours later I was on my way to Southern California to compete with Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Fouts and eventually complete my first pro pass to another NFL Hall of Famer, Kellen Winslow.

No one could have accurately predicted how everything would look one year, three years, seven and a half years later—not even the researchers that led to the Chargers’ general manager calling NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle announcing me, Mark Vlasic, as their selection.

When it comes to the NFL draft, hours upon hours are dedicated by a team that includes the general manager, pro- and college-scouting directors, the head coach, position coaches and regional scouting specialists. All of these experts play an integral role in providing the general manager with their evaluations after scouring the national pool of talent. These gurus diligently review their own team’s strengths and weakness, identifying voids and even overlap to pinpoint the next franchise player who will complement their arsenal and help lead their team to a Super Bowl victory.

After seven and a half years of playing in the NFL, I transitioned from football quarterback into financial quarterback. Now I see that a wealth advisor serves as a personal general manager and is responsible for leading a team of franchise players to help you accomplish your financial goals and dreams. Behind the scenes, wealth advisors should be backed by a team of experts to diligently identify and locate the best investment talent for your portfolios. Their role should be to align these resources with your end goals. 

The wealth advisor’s investment committee will have a leader: the chief investment officer (CIO). The CIO’s team of experts includes financial analysts with the responsibility and resources to evaluate and monitor specific areas of the globe (U.S. and international), or by market capitalization (large or small companies), or bonds/fixed income (municipal, taxable, high yield), real assets (real estate, MLPs), or alternative sectors (insurance, hedge funds).

No one can accurately predict what the future will look like, but after identifying your portfolio’s strengths, weaknesses and potential overlaps, your wealth advisor will leverage the resources of their firm’s investment committee to ensure your portfolios are prudently aligned with your goals, objectives, time frames and tolerance for risk. 

Your wealth advisor should utilize his/her team of resources to objectively align the strengths of your portfolio, fill the voids, eliminate potentially costly overlap and avoid unnecessary risks. As your personal GM, your wealth advisor is the key to finding, hiring and orchestrating your team of franchise players dedicated to helping you win your “financial Super Bowl.”

For more of my thoughts, follow me on LinkedIn.