• Why Little Details Matter in Football and in Financial Planning

    by Ben Geiger CFP® Financial Planner | October 3, 2021


    This is the end of the third quarter. Yes, it is the end of the 3rd calendar quarter, but I am referring to the words uttered by a football referee. It’s the phrase that increases excitement, anxiety, and stress as we hope our team can pull away with a mark in the “W” column. 

    For an avid football fan like me, football season is one of the most exciting times of the year. Summer is winding down, routines are re-established, school is starting up again, and cooler weather sets in. There is just something about football season that is thoroughly unique. 

    Maybe it’s the nostalgia, or the time spent with family and friends at tailgate parties and games, or the tremendous memories I have with my dad. He and I witnessed some of the greatest games and unbelievable atmospheres as we toured all of the Big 10 stadiums.  

    I admit I am more engaged than most as I find so much excitement in the little things surrounding the football season. Hearing the high school marching band practicing on a crisp, cool morning or the cheers from the crowd at Friday night lights down the street. The sweet aroma of fresh cinnamon rolls in the oven as I prepare for ESPN’s College Gameday. Hunkering down for a full day of football as I change out of my Sunday best into my team gear while soup simmers on the stove for our “Soup Sunday” tradition. All of these things get my adrenaline pumping. 

    On Mondays, I always look forward to breaking down the weekend game recap with coworkers at the office, and then immediately start looking forward to Monday and Thursday night games. I listen to the press conferences, the radio shows, and stress over my fantasy football lineup. I love that football is made up of so many little moments that make a season fun and exciting.

    Maybe for you, it is hearing the PA announcers say, “This is a Cyclone weather alert,” or Kinnick stadium rocking to “Back in Black” as “The Swarm” comes out of the tunnel. And I think we can all agree, no matter our team allegiance, that “The Wave” at the end of the first quarter in Iowa City is one of the most special traditions in college football.  

    As I enjoy the “little things” of football season, I realize that all of these things culminate in 3-4-hour games on Saturday and Sunday. But what all goes into those games? It takes hours and hours of preparation and execution just so that I, and millions of others, can be entertained.

    Think of all the players, coaches, medical staff, ground crews, concession stand workers, ticket takers, ushers, parking attendants, ticket sales, janitors, first responders, officials, journalists, scoreboard operators, pilots, bus drivers, seamstresses, broadcasters, camera workers, press box staff, TV producers, and the list goes on and on and on. As you can imagine, the number of hours used to produce just one professional football game is nearly incalculable. 

    What sets a good game apart from a bad game? The little details. The details each team has focused on will give them a competitive edge over their opponent. As for the production crews, every little wire needs to be connected and microphones turned on or the smallest issue could create large frustrations with fans watching the game on TV. 

    Whether it is my enjoyment of the season or the result of a football game, it boils down to the execution and attention to the little details. I guess it is no surprise then that I have found joy in the work we do at Syverson Strege…a firm that has a laser focus on the little details. A focus that we believe sets us apart from others.

    Many of our clients meet with us for an hour or more during each session for an investment review or annual planning session (APS). The work that goes into one meeting is vast. The preparation includes countless hours by our five investment committee members. Dialed into the latest trends, they forecast and monitor our clients’ portfolios while making necessary changes. 

    Our four planning committee members ensure our team is up to date on all of the latest rules and regulations in the industry. They also provide education to our team on various planning opportunities that exist. Our associate financial planning team meticulously reviews data, analyzes projections, and recommends changes. Our lead planners provide strategies and guidance as we lead our clients through various hurdles. 

    After a meeting, follow-up action items and paperwork often need to be completed. Our client service team tackles those tasks with tenacity. Our administrative team is focused on continual improvement and accuracy in all of the numerous tasks for which they are responsible. Not to mention if an IT issue comes up, our IT professional is working on the issue before we can even ask for help! 

    Before an individual becomes a client, our marketing team has been hard at work on our marketing plan, client care, and ensuring everyone we meet has a positive experience. Our marketing team is constantly looking for ways to not only grow our firm, but to make our clients feel special and appreciated. 

    Our team is incessantly working together to make certain we are providing the best output possible. Each member at Syverson Strege has a very important role in the preparation necessary to achieve successful client meetings. 

    All the details we focus on are inspired by our mission to enrich and empower the lives of those we serve. We also know that attention to the smallest of details is what has our client retention rate at 98%! 

    As you can see, I have tremendous appreciation for the details both at the office and outside of work. For me, football is just one of the many things I enjoy in my free time. 

    But I want to know; what are things that bring you excitement? What are some of the smallest of details that help make those experiences special for you? Let me know! You can email me at bgeiger@onlyworkforyou.com!



    Ben Geiger CFP® Financial Planner
    Ben Geiger is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner at Syverson Strege. His main duties include preparing for client meetings throughout the year, strengthening client relationships and serving on Syverson Strege’s Financial Planning Committee. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ben attended Iowa State University and completed his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2017. Ben wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and always knew he wanted to be a financial planner. Joining the firm in 2018, Ben has enjoyed building his planning career with Syverson Strege.

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