My son and I attended the Green Bay Packers game against division rival the Detroit Lions this past Sunday at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. I’m glad his first NFL game was at Lambeau and that I was able to experience this with him. If you are a football fan and have never been, a trip to Lambeau on game day is a must for your bucket list. Here are some lessons that the financial services industry could learn from a trip to Lambeau Field.
The folks are friendly
As you enter Green Bay you will be struck by the fact that the whole city is pretty much all about the game. Many houses near the stadium turn their front lawns into parking lots, as did at least one gas station and local motel. Some will let you tailgate right on their lawn and even use the restroom in their home. We parked on the lawn of an elderly couple for $20. The husband who was in a wheel chair directed us as to where to park even before taking our money. In fact I had to find him to make sure that we paid him. He didn’t seem the least bit worried about me stiffing him.
I can’t tell you how often a prospective client has told me that the reason they were leaving their financial advisor was that the advisor talked down to them. I’ve never understood this and the only reasons that I can come up with here is either true hubris or that the advisor really doesn’t want the client to understand where they are putting their money. In the latter case this could be because the investments are sub-par or there is some sort of fraud ocurring.
There are many good choices
Wisconsin (I’m an ex-patriot Cheesehead) is all about good food and drink. Like to tailgate, these folks are pros. Want to buy your food, no problem. Before you even get into the stadium there is a permanent bar in the parking lot, plus other choices like a McDonald’s food truck. Once inside, the atrium is much like a shopping mall including a food court with a great selection of reasonably priced “game food.”
Sadly all too often employees have a menu of lousy 401(k) investment choices. Clients of commissioned registered reps also are frequently offered financial advice that may be suitable for them but not totally focused on their best interests. This may include being sold products such as high cost annuities.
The game day experience is fantastic
I’ve been a Packer fan since 1966 when they won the first Super Bowl. A couple of weeks ago I was so fanatical during the debacle against the Bengals that my wife and dog left our family room. I care who wins.
Being there with my son on Sunday transcended who won or lost. The fact that we were able to get down to the bottom row of the stands and watch pre-game warm-ups was as much fun as the game. Mike is a Communications major at Northern Illinois University where he also works for the Athletics department. He was very interested in watching the media setting up for the game as well as seeing the likes of Clay Matthews up close.
Sadly the financial services industry doesn’t always offer the investing public a great game-day experience when they are seeking financial advice. A recent study by TIAA-CREF noted:
- Forty-eight percent of Americans say it is hard to know which sources of financial advice can be trusted.
- Thirty-seven percent of Americans say they don’t like talking to anyone about their finances.
- Forty-six percent of Americans say that more than ever, they need a trusted place to go for financial advice.
- Two-fifths of Americans think good financial advice costs more than they can afford.
- One-third of Americans say they lack the time to get proper financial advice.
- More than half (58 percent) of Americans say they would prefer to get financial advice from a single point of contact or location.
The financial services industry could learn a lot about service, the quality of the financial products and advice offered, and the need to serve clients for a reasonable fee by visiting Lambeau Field on game day. It’s an experience like no other.
Please contact me with any thoughts or suggestions about anything you’ve read here at The Chicago Financial Planner. Please check out our Resources page for more tools and services that you might find useful.