Hegna's Hotseat

Golf Is Simple, Not Easy


ost of you know I’m an avid golfer. I like to use golf as an analogy to explain how simple it can be to become wealthy. Investing is a lot like the game of golf! Both investing and golf are very simple. There are three phases in golf: the tee shot, the approach, and the putt. In investing, there are also three phases: building wealth, protecting wealth, and distributing wealth.

In golf, I’m allowed to carry 14 clubs. I don’t use my lob wedge to tee off on a par five. That wouldn’t work well! I don’t use my driver out of a sand trap. I don’t use my putter from 150 yards out. Each club is a product with its own function, and it’s the same with financial products.

In investing, we can’t use the same products for all the different phases. Wealth building products won’t help protect wealth. Wealth distribution products won’t help build wealth. I find too many financial advisors who are not using all the clubs in their bag. Some only want to sell managed money; some only want to sell annuities; some don’t want to sell life insurance.

When it comes to building wealth, mutual funds, annuities, managed money, and life insurance can do that. Building wealth with disability insurance or putting your money into long-term care insurance won’t work.

When it comes to protecting your wealth, annuities, life insurance, disability insurance will work, but managed money, mutual funds, and stocks and bonds won’t. An investment product can’t make up wages if someone is disabled. Millions of dollars are at risk without high liability limits and an umbrella policy.

When it comes to distributing wealth, managed money isn’t going to distribute wealth efficiently—that’s what annuities do. Life insurance provides tax-free income in retirement.

So what I’m saying is, each club in my bag has a different function, and I don’t use the wrong club in the wrong situation. It’s the same in financial services. Use the right product in the right situation. You don’t want to be an advisor who says, “I’m just going to carry a 7 iron.” A 7 iron isn’t going to get you a good score if that’s the only club you carry! Use all the products in the bag.

See, golf is a very simple game, but it is certainly not easy! It’s the same with becoming a millionaire. In my book Tom Hegna’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, I share very simple concepts that can make you wealthy. However, implementing the concepts will require discipline, patience, and persistence.

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