Financial Planning in the Shark Tank


I really like to watch the TV show Shark Tank.  It is amazing to watch the “American Dream” on display in every episode.  For the few of you out there that haven’t seen the show 6 successful entrepreneurs (Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Lori Griener and Robert Herjavec) listen to small business people pitch their companies or ideas so the Sharks (the entrepreneurs) might consider investing in them.  I was watching the other day and thought there were some interesting similarities between successfully convincing the Sharks to invest and clients having a successful financial planning experience.

  1. Know Your NumbersThe sharks always like when the potential partner knows their sales and profit and manufacturing numbers cold.  This is also true in financial planning.  If you don’t know everything you own and what it is worth you can’t possibly trust that your projections or simulations will give you an accurate picture of your situation.  I have never seen the Sharks invest in a business where the person pitching the business didn’t know their numbers likewise I have never had a successful planning experience with a client that didn’t know what they owned and what it was worth.
  2. Understand What Your Goals AreThe sharks always ask what the person is going to do with the money if they agree to invest.  The business owner has to understand what their goals are and how the Shark’s money is going to help them pursue their goals.  The same can be said for clients when it comes to financial planning.  Money and assets can do a lot of things for people but if you don’t understand your goals you won’t be able to deploy the assets to work towards the goal of accomplishing them.
  3. Be Willing to Accept Advice on Holes in Your PlanThe sharks regularly offer advice to the business owners.  The successful ones accept the advice and make adjustments to fix it.  Every show has at least one business owner that argues with the sharks and loses out on a deal because they are not willing to listen to advice.  In every financial planning relationship I find opportunities to help improve upon what they are doing and work to help them increase their chances of successfully working toward their goals.  I believe that the clients that are willing to accept advice tend to have better outcomes than the ones that don’t.

We can’t help you prepare for your trip into the Shark Tank but we are here to help you work towards your financial goals.  We love financial planning and it is the foundation of every client relationship.  Contact us to discuss your personal goals and how we can help.

Just another thought from The Factory on Main


Peter Huminski

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Shark Tank airs new episodes on ABC and reruns on CNBC on Tuesday night.