LESSONS FROM THE ICE What Hockey Taught Me About Being a Financial Architect
Sitting down to write this newsletter, I’ve found it’s impossible to talk about myself or my philosophy as a Financial Architect without talking about hockey. The sport has played many roles over the course of my life, from fun and games to a deeply grounding source of stability. Now, as winter draws to a close on what may be my last season as a coach, I’d like to spend some time reflecting on what hockey has meant for me. It’s difficult for me to remember when it all started — growing up in Detroit, it was impossible not to be a hockey fan from birth. I learned to skate at a young age, and started learning to chase a puck shortly thereafter. My first real clear memory is a particularly good season I had as a boy, one that made me realize I wasn’t just having fun, I was excelling. I began to get serious, learning the skills that take a hockey player from being good to great: leadership, teamwork, commitment determination, perseverance, and mental toughness. What I learned on the ice became principles to live my life by, providing a grounding influence when I needed it most. When I was a young man my family went through some hard times. My home life became pretty unstable, but even in the roughest moments, I knew I could strap on my skates and practice. At an age and in a situation where a lot of kids get into
trouble, the sport kept my nose clean and my grades up. In a very real way, the sport helped secure my future. Not only did I graduate high school, I was offered an athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan Dearborn. It was at the University of Michigan that I first discovered my passion for finance. I had a great and passionate economics professor who had worked in the Federal Reserve, and had made it his mission to make sure his students truly understood the nature of money. It was an empowering experience, one that made me realize I wanted to impart the same lessons to others. As graduation drew closer, my athletic director asked me what field I wanted to go into — he had connections in just about every conceivable industry and wanted to do his part to give his player’s bright futures. He introduced me to Turner Thompson. By 1990 I was a full-fledged Financial Architect, something that wouldn’t have been possible without all those years spent on the ice. So it was fitting that shortly after becoming a financial advisor I started coaching. Finance isn’t quite as fast paced as ice hockey, but teaching the two practices is remarkably similar. Coaching and advising are a team effort that requires confident leadership and an eye
–Patrick Marody As hard as it is to close this chapter of my life, I view it as a positive thing. I’ve had to juggle many hats and helmets over the years, it will be a nice change of pace to narrow my focus and simplify things. I’m still blessed to go into a job I love every day, helping folks strategize for their future, and giving newer Financial Architects the same mentorship Turner and Ken gave me. I may not be chasing a puck, but I still use and teach all the principles hockey instilled in me today. for what big-picture success looks like. I’ve even advised several NHL players over the years, and they’ve appreciated having someone who could talk to them like a coach. But as I mentioned at the beginning, I’m thinking it’s about time I hang up my whistle. I’ve coached two of my sons’ youth hockey teams, and found a lot of joy doing it. But with my eldest now playing for the Edmonton Oilers Organization, and my youngest going into high school, I’ve taught them all I can. Building the rink in my backyard took a lot more out of me than it used to, as much as I’ve enjoyed seeing that spark ignite in young player’s eyes, it may be time to place all of my focus on continuing to coach advisors and clients at FAI.
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