There is no doubt that hitting your driver on the screws 300 yards down the middle of the fairway is exhilarating. We love the feel of the club head speed and the sound the driver makes as it makes contact with the ball. How much time do you spend working on your putting vs hitting your driver? On the tour the slogan is “putt for dough”. Ask any professional and they will quickly tell you that the most valuable club in their bag is their putter. A six foot putt counts just as much as your longest drive.
Like in golf when we think about our money the financial products that captivate our attention are usually the “drivers”. They are the products that promise to pay the highest rates of return. But what about the putter? The products that are valuable but not designed to hit it a long way? The putter would never come up in a conversation about distance. In financial terms, the putter would represent a product low on the return scale…but a place where your money could do one or more of these:
- ∙ grow income tax deferred
- ∙ come out estate tax free
- ∙ earn a competitive rate of return with limited risk
- ∙ Guarantee a return. Note that, with insurance products, guarantees are based upon claims paying ability of the issuer.
- ∙ be safe from creditors
- ∙ have no limits on how much money you can put in
- ∙ have no restrictions on how you can use the money
- ∙ be used as collateral
- ∙ provide you with liquidity, use, and control, and
- ∙ have an account value that never goes down.
We have all lost balls using our driver (maybe that is why golf balls come in packs of 12) but never with a putter. A lost ball on the course means a penalty. A lost ball financially can spell disaster. In golf, a putt counts just as much as the drive. Financially, avoiding losses can make all the difference in your final score.
Remember that a great putt can help you recover from a bad drive. So don’t ignore the value of having a solid financial putter because the product that pays the highest returns may not be the best club in your bag.