Illustration of Michael Jordan

The Last Dance, the recent Netflix documentary on Michael Jordan’s stellar career, has attracted glowing reviews from critics and viewers alike. It’s an epic sporting saga that speaks of the sort of achievement that comes along only once in a generation, maybe even a lifetime.

What it does invite us mere mortals to do however is work out how we can be inspired to use some of Jordan’s lessons in our own lives. For me, there are plenty of parallels to be found with financial planning.


“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
– Michael Jordan

Even an athlete as individually effective as Jordan knew that being part of a team led to even better results. He was an exceptional basketball player but he would still need guidance and direction from a coach and expert advice on strength and conditioning, diet and nutrition. He chose to surround himself with people who could provide this insight, seeking the help of leaders in those fields to make himself better, to achieve more, reach further.

Many of our clients are successful high-achievers in their fields who understand this too. They have sought out professional financial advice so they too can strive to achieve the best results possible. It also frees them up to keep on doing what they do best secure in the knowledge that their affairs are in hand. What’s more, the size of the Progeny team – incorporating not just financial advice but asset management, tax, HR and private and corporate legal expertise – just increases the scope of what is achievable.

Preparation and planning

When Michael Jordan came back out of retirement in 1995, having already won three NBA Championships, he developed a training program – maybe ritual would be a more fitting description – that he called The Breakfast Club.

He and a selection of his senior players would gather at 5am to train. Their strength and conditioning coaches would put them through their paces and their nutrition experts would deliver the diet to fuel this work. The aim was to get them in the best possible shape to achieve their goals. The Chicago Bulls went on to win another three consecutive NBA Championships.

In a similar way, a thorough, personalised financial plan puts you in the best position to achieve what you want to achieve in life. Think of it as a game plan, the best way to turn your tactics into something tangible. A route to, and reminder of, your ultimate goal. A financial plan doesn’t just exist for its own sake, it’s a mechanism for getting results. As Jordan said, “I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat.”

Effective planning means preparing for any range of scenarios you could be faced with, on the basketball court or in life. The Bulls studied opponents, understood their relative strengths and weaknesses, thought through the ways the game could develop and how they could adapt and still come out on top.

We conduct cashflow planning with many of our clients to work through a number of scenarios and eventualities that could affect their lives (impacts of big decisions, economic events etc) so we know how best to respond if and when they occur.

Overcoming challenges

Michael Jordan famously failed to make his school’s varsity basketball team when first starting out on his basketball journey. He didn’t let this deter him – if anything, quite the opposite.

While a financial adviser will help you plan for the certainties of life and as many of the possible outcomes as they can, the everyday can still throw up the unexpected. Your personal circumstances might change in ways you couldn’t have imagined, putting you in a challenging or unexpected position.

Working with an adviser can help you rise to these challenges. We can revisit and adapt your plan to your changing circumstances, ensuring you navigate any obstacles and stay on course for your ultimate goals.

Michael Jordan was talented, but he didn’t have it easy, he just responded better than anyone else to the challenges he was faced with. It’s fitting that he should have the last word.

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
– Michael Jordan

To share your stories of inspiration – sporting or otherwise – feel free to leave a comment below. If you would like to discuss the benefits of good financial planning, please get in touch.

This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any security for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed.

Past performance is not indicative of future results and the value of investments can fall as well as rise. No representation is made that the stated results will be replicated.

Joshua Castle

Chartered Financial Planner

Josh joined Progeny in June 2017 as a Paraplanner.

Learn more about Joshua Castle