The Giants Win!

With all due respect to my dad the Dodger fan, I never thought I would start a blog article with the title -“The Giants Win.” Berson family legend has it that my dad and his brother were listening on the radio when Bobby Thompson hit his legendary home run to send the Giants over the Dodgers into the World Series.  When Russ Hodges screamed “The Giants Win the Pennant, The Giants Win the Pennant” my dad, 16 at the time, was chasing his brother down the street because he had jinxed the Dodgers by writing a sign that said the Dodgers win. Oh how times have changed.

I have known Roger Gainer for over 10 years. We have worked on cases together and I have always had the utmost respect for his views and ideas. However, the one thing we never agreed upon was his love for the San Francisco Giants. Especially when the Padres manager Bruce Bochy took over the Giants and lead them to a World Series victory. Now, three championships later, Roger has written an article that speaks to his love for finance and his love for the Giants. Congrats Roger…on another World Series for your team and a great article.

A Guest Article by Roger Gainer

How about those San Francisco Giants? Their season and playoff success has been one of the great sports stories of recent memory. I have been a baseball fan my entire life, and this year’s Giants team is one of the least likely champions that I have ever seen. When I watch them play, I am struck by how unusually “normal” they are. There are no real obvious “all-stars”. Nobody is going to hit 50 home runs for this team and they only have one pitcher who even comes close to being an all-star. Most championship teams these days have at least 2 or 3 of those guys on their pitching staff and 2 or 3 in their everyday lineup. While talking with a friend of mine the other day, and trying to figure out their key to success, it occurred to me that the same things that make them successful work for my clients and their success as well.

They play as a team. These guys really get along and complement each other. A lot of them are good at one or two things, but together their individual talents make them able to adapt in many different situations. They have no holes that can do significant damage to their long term success. Financially, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each component of your plan allows you to put each decision in the best position to win. No one or two investments can lead to financial success unless you get very lucky.

Consistency is what wins. The Giants have hit few extra base hits this postseason and even fewer home runs. They score by putting together a lot of good at bats that result in base runners. Walks, hits, sacrifice bunt and fly outs are their preferred method of scoring runs. You don’t see them swinging for the fences or trying to do too much. It’s all about making contact. If you are always swinging for the big returns on your money, you will strike out a lot more than connect. Investment home runs can be exhilarating, but strikeouts can be devastating!

“Pitching and defense win games.” This is an old baseball saying that the Giants really take to heart. Hitting can take days off, but if defense and pitching show up every day, you will win a lot more than you lose. If you are bad in those areas, you might find yourself trying to catch up from a few runs down. With building a portfolio, it is more important not to lose money (defense). When markets are good, making money is easy, you don’t want to waste those times digging out of a hole or making up for a deficit.

Attention to detail makes all the difference. There was a great story during the St. Louis series about Joe Panik, their rookie second baseman. He spent extra time before game 5 studying how Bill Mueller, who was then playing for Boston, was able to hit a home run off Mariano Rivera, the longtime Yankee closer. Panik was going to be facing Adam Wainwright that night. The previous time he faced Wainwright, he was unable to hit his “cutter”, a very effective type of pitch for those who can control it. Rivera had what many considered the best cutter of all time and that is the pitch Mueller hit for the home run. Panik studied that hit over and over, looking at little things like how Mueller moved his hips and where he held his hands. Later that night, Panik hit a big home run; only the second of his major league career, off a cutter and the Giants went on to win. “The devil is in the details” particularly applies to your money. Disclosure documents like prospectus’ are filled with important little details that can be the difference between success and failure. The tax code is filled with little details that can save or cost you big dollars and overlooking details in beneficiary designations can keep your money from going where you intended. The list of small things that can have big consequences is very long. Ignore them at your own peril.

Finally, they have a great manager, Bruce Bochy. The players, owners, and front office all point to his ability to get the most out of every player, put them in positions to succeed and plan for the unexpected, as key factors in their success. The owners recognize that despite having a great ballpark, lots of resources and a desire to win, they needed someone who understands how all the pieces fit together day-to-day, in the most effective way for them to win. Studies show, it is the same with your financial team. It is important that you put things together in a way that gives you the best chance to succeed. If you think it is time to see if hiring a manager can help you win, get in touch with us. Let’s get your team working at a championship level!

 This article originally appeared on Roger Gainer’s blog on October 28, 2014

About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
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