What is your financial GAME PLAN and who is on your team?”


“An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.”
—Emil Zatopek, Czechoslovak long-distance runner and Olympian.

For those who know me well, know that athletics is a significant part of my life.

Back in the day, I played high school basketball in Waterloo. I played “Six-on-Six” (yes… this dates me) …mostly playing in the guard court. I loved it. Little known fact….I hold the school record for most blocked shots in a high school career – 66 total blocked shots! Are you impressed? Ok…so full disclosure….my high school closed 4 years after I graduated….but hey, a record is a record, right?

Then… there’s my husband. He played sports since he was a young boy. He played sports all through high school then went on to play basketball for Simpson College. He dreamed of returning one day to be the head coach of his alma mater.

Right out of college he landed a job at Urbandale High School and coached there for over 32 years. In 2015 he pursued his dream and was hired for the head Men’s Basketball job at Simpson College. He just wrapped up his fourth season with the Storm. In 2017 we celebrated Brad being inducted into the Iowa High School Coaches Hall of Fame for his success at Urbandale.

My oldest son played baseball for Buena Vista University, making it as far as the NCAA Regionals and my youngest son dabbled in various sports and has now settled on a Sports Administration degree at Simpson College and serves as a volunteer assistant coach….sitting next to his dad on the bench.  Yep, pretty cool.

So it goes on….  We are now basking in the success of the Toronto Raptors season….2019 NBA Champions!!! My husband’s nephew (his brother’s son Nate) is head assistant coach for Toronto. He worked his way through the ranks, putting time in with the Iowa Energy, then on to the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns…now with Toronto.  When Nate was in elementary school, he set a goal to coach in the NBA someday ….and he made it happen.

Reflecting on all of this, I have made an interesting connection….. My role as a Financial Planner is much like that of the coach. I encourage and inspire people to dream, to set goals; I custom design recommendations and help clients implement a plan.

Many times I facilitate the creation of a “financial team” for clients (CPA, Attorney, Insurance Agent) and act as a the captain of the team or the quarterback of sorts….strategizing or crafting a game plan to ultimately meet the goals that have been set.

Customizing a financial plan is truly a process and requires research, fact gathering, implementation and follow up to be successful. I trust as you read through the stages of the financial planning process you will make the same connection that I have.

  • Establish & Define the RelationshipOne of my favorite things about what I do is meeting new people, establishing relationships and building trust.  It is just as crucial for a coach to make a connection with their recruits; to define their relationship, to manage expectations and to build trust in one another.
  • Gather Information Needed to Fulfill the EngagementFor those who have been through the financial planning process know -this is when we talk about dreams; we identify short and long term goals and gather information.  One of the first things a coach will do pre-season – along with his team – is set goals.  They will set personal goals – and more importantly – team goals and determine what needs to be done to be effective and successful.
  • Analyze & Evaluate the Current SituationHere we go a bit deeper…  Are there poor financial habits that need to be addressed? Is there debt that needs to be paid down? What good financial decisions have been made?  In the life of a coach, this is where they will evaluate the team and their staff. The will determine that they have the right players in the right positions. Strengths and weaknesses are identified.
  • Developing & Communicating the RecommendationsIn the world of finances and athletics, this is where the game plan is created; the clip board comes out and the X’s and O’s are identified. With financial planning it is deciding how much needs to be saved to meet the goals established.  In sports, it’s communicating plays…what defense or offense will be deployed?  Clear communication is imperative.  If the ‘plan’ is not clearly communicated to all team members, the odds of failure are real.
  • Implementation & Monitoring of the RecommendationsIts game time!  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Time to move forward and implement the plan…financial professionals will come along side and help to implement recommendations monitor progress and suggest adjustments as necessary. Coaching a 48 minute – 4 quarter NBA basketball game ….there is no crystal ball….the outcome of the game cannot be predicted. Minute to minute, basket to basket – anything goes.  Coach’s are  there to call the plays, to make adjustments as necessary…. with the end goal in mind.

The real message here is this…(Cheesy ending alert!!!)……if you feel you are behind the eight ball when it comes to your financial future…..seek the advice of a professional – put together a game plan and rely on your team of experts.  You certainly can punt for while…but at some point life is going to throw you a curve ball—then the temptation is to lob a hail Mary. Then what?  With a solid financial plan the goal line is in sight…and with the proper habits and the guidance of professionals….a financially sold future is yours…. it’s a SLAM DUNK!



Michele Bjorkgren, Financial Advisor
Compass Financial
p. 515.327.1020 x13
e. michele.bjorkgren@compassiowa.com
Securities Offered through LPL Financial


A little more about us:
Compass Financial is an independent, fee-based financial advisory firm in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Compass Team helps individuals and families develop an inspiring vision of their financial future and a realistic strategy.

By listening closely to our clients’ true needs, wants, hopes, desires and dreams we are able to combine Wealth Management and broad Financial Planning customized to each individual situation. It’s our goal to assist you in developing a personalized financial road map. The results from the process should include confidence that comes from planning. As we all know, life happens, sometimes ambushing the best laid plans. Accepting a new reality and adapting the financial plan is work we have done many times for our clients.

We also offer Financial Check Up or Second Opinion Services to those who want to enhance the service they are already receiving. This should lead to a better understanding of your current plans and give added confidence to your existing advisor relationship.

Sometimes life’s biggest challenges come in the form of transitions, retirement, marriage, health issues, divorce, unexpected loss, or even college savings. Our team at Compass has experienced many of these life transitions, it’s our hope to come alongside you and your family. These defining moments of life provide opportunities to implement financial strategies that can have long lasting impact. The first step is always the most difficult, but can also be the most rewarding. Please Contact Us today to receive your free, no obligation, one hour initial consultation!

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