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Lessons the Financial Services Industry Could Learn from Visiting Lambeau Field


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.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, stadium and outdoor

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.

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  1. I’ve only ever been to Foxboro but would love to get to Lambeau someday. Glad you guys were able to enjoy a win.

    It’s sad how many financial advisors don’t seem to truly care about their clients. This is a profession where you have the opportunity to profoundly help people change their lives for the better, but you have to actually care about their needs. I certainly hope we’re moving in a direction where the financial industry’s focus becomes less about the products and more about the service.

    • Roger Wohlner says

      Matt thanks for the comment. I’ve seen games at Soldier Field, the old Milwaukee County Stadium (the Packers used to play several games a year there), and Lambeau. Fun atmosphere, great site lines, and the an overall great experience. Beating the hated Lions (and a boy named Suh) was great as well.

      Certainly a lot of money can be made by “advisors” who build trust and then sell their clients products that might mean more money for the “advisor” than the client. I’ve found it is better to do what is best for the client as a means to build a business.

  2. Great correlation Roger! I’ve never been to an NFL game, but that is something I plan on changing soon. I would love to make it to a Packers game as one of my favorite players (Jordy – from my alma mater) plays there and would love to see him play since I saw so many of his games in college.

    That said, it’s always eye opening to see how many out there really don’t know who or what they can trust. Add that to being a novice with investing and it can lead to some very questionable decision making.

    • Roger Wohlner says

      John thanks for the comment. Jordy is an amazing receiver. If you ever have the chance, Lambeau is an amazing place to watch a game and offers a great experience from start to finish for the fans.

      It is sad at the sales tactics used by some advisors and firms, I can understand why many folks are hesitant to work with an advisor.

  3. I’ve never been to Lambeau Field, but I’m sure it would be a kick. As far as financial services, I wish that the 40+% of Americans that “need a trusted place to go for financial advice” and “think good financial advice costs more than they can afford” knew about bogleheads.org. Most people can get help with their portfolio investments and asset allocation for free as well as gain quite an education by reading the bogleheads.org wiki and forum posts.

    • Roger Wohlner says

      Bryce thanks for the comment. If you ever have the opportunity catching a game at Lambeau is worth it, coupled with the fact that I am a lifelong Packer fan it is my version of “football heaven.” The Bogleheads site is a good resource, especially for those investors who are comfortable doing it all or in part themselves. There are other options such as NAPFA and Garret advisors who work on a fee-only basis. Different investors have different advice needs, but in no case should they be relegated to a product pusher who is only looking to line their own pockets and who doesn’t place the best interests of the client first.

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