Surviving Difficult Times with Fran Tarkenton [Video]

 

 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity this week to interview Fran Tarkenton, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and successful entrepreneur and TV star.  We were discussing "Surviving Difficult Times" which couldn't be more timely.  I encourage you to take a little time and soak in his wisdom.

Watch the video or read The transcript of the Interview below:

Dan Searles:

With all this going on in the world, I thought it would be great for people to hear from you. The subject of today's conversation, I wanted to get to, was surviving, maybe trying to thrive, in difficult times. Maybe talk about that both on a personal level, and then on a financial level. Hopefully we can get to a little sports, maybe, at the end.

Fran Tarkenton:

Well, you know, you set me up good here, because I'm upbeat all the time, as you know.

Dan Searles:

Yep.

Fran Tarkenton:

I'm about solving problems. There's no hill too high, there's no valley too low. All of us, in our lives, face all kind of tragedies and things to get over and workout. I happen to play in three of the first 11 Super Bowls. I had the biggest audience in the world, and we got beat all three Super Bowls. I really think, Dan, that that was the greatest learning experience of my life. Being able to look at the biggest disappoint that you can look at as a NFL football player. The most watched show in the history of the world every year is the Super Bowl, and you lose and you fail. You're beaten by another team. It's very obvious. They had more points than we did. I could've folded up. We all could fold up, "Oh, poor pitiful me. This was wrong and that was wrong," and make excuses and hide under the log. I didn't hide under the log. I went out and tried to better myself, be smarter, work better, more efficiently. The outcome of that, I built 25 businesses in the last 40 years.

Dan Searles:

Right. Here's why-

Fran Tarkenton:

I wouldn't have been able to do that without looking at what's going on and finding a solution. We're there today, in probably the most fierce medical problem in the history of our country, and maybe the world.

Dan Searles:

Yeah.

Fran Tarkenton:

We're on television every night. "This is wrong and that's wrong." It looks like we can't get out of it. But we are, and we can, and we will. But we won't if we climb under the wall, under the log and hide and don't face it. If we face it, we hang together and we work for solutions, we'll find solutions.

Dan Searles:

Absolutely. Just one more thing, and I'll add to it, because you're probably too modest to do it, but you may have not won three Super Bowls, but you won everybody's respect. I know Patrick Mahomes and Russel Wilson and other people have said they based the way they play around you. I know when I was a kid, I think we said this the first time I met you 10 or 11 years ago, I was you in the backyard, playing Fran Tarkenton in the backyard. I mean, you have won, even though the scores came up a little short.

Fran Tarkenton:

I appreciate that. It's about how we all deal with adversity. Right?

Dan Searles:

Yep.

Fran Tarkenton:

We have such a great country. People come together, as we're doing now. It's good to see that. It's good to see people out trying to solve a problem and make the country and the world a better place. I'm so glad that we're doing this for your people down there.

Dan Searles:

Yeah. That's great. I can say this too. Part of what we're all about at Medallion Coast, and our federal navigators for our federal employees, we're about solving financial problems. We can't solve the world pandemic, but we can, as you say, keep our chin up and give good advice. That's what we've been doing. This will be the fourth video that we've done.

Dan Searles:

I think it's probably a good idea to discuss how to set up a financial plan so that you shouldn't be ... This shouldn't be your primary worries. Obviously, it would be somewhat of a worry, but it shouldn't be your primary worry. Part of it is when you're under 55, we're all concerned about return on investment, ROI growth. That's what everybody knows that. It's important to try to grow your money as much as you possibly can. As you get close to retirement, three or four years from retirement, or maybe you're already in retirement, that return on investment, ROI, changes to reliability of income. What we're all about is making sure that you have reliable income so that when 9/11, Katrina, the tech bubble bursts, Kennedy was assassinated ... It's always going to be something that's going to be dire in the world. Now, this too. This is big. But if you've set up your plan right, I bet ... Now, we've called every single client we've got. Big or small, we've called every single one. I bet we haven't gotten three phone calls. The reason for that is people know how we've set them up.

Dan Searles:

So, the first thing to get reliability of income is social security. We all know that. Some of us have open style pension plans. But even if you pile one and two on top, you've still got a gap between what your monthly expenses are and those pension plans. Social security and your pension. So, what we are specialized in is filling that gap. Now, you have to fill that gap with inflation protection too, because banks are going to go up in price.

Fran Tarkenton:

That's true.

Dan Searles:

But once you've got that reliability of income, with an inflation hedge, you can go back to growth on the rest of your money. I'm not saying stocks and bonds are wrong. We manage hundreds of millions of dollars in stocks and bonds. But, we don't do that for our clients until we've established that reliability of income base so that the money that you have in stocks and bonds is either for a new Jeep, a new boat, a trip to Milan. It is for something that's extra. It's not for taking care of your monthly expenses.

Fran Tarkenton:

I think that's such sound advice. We give it all across this country, and I practice it in my own life. I'm in the market. I like the market, but the money I have in the market is money that I can afford to lose, and I can wait on it. I don't have to panic and sell it when you have the 30% down of the market in the last weeks or months, certainly. But you want your money working. You just cannot go and bury it under the mattress and think it's going to ... That's not the way, because you got to have your money working. To ensure that you've got enough money to fulfill your needs for you and your family, and then go from there. I'm right with you. We preach that, we practice that. I practice that. And we've made a lot of money in business and the markets and so forth. That money, I can afford to lose and still maintain my lifestyle.

Dan Searles:

Right. I'll add to that too. When you've established that reliability of income and you're in stocks and bonds ... I'm always going to have bonds in the portfolios that I design, but I can tell you that there are alternatives to bonds that are actually better for the most part. There's also types of products that don't guarantee you a greater return. And of course bonds don't guarantee anything.

Fran Tarkenton:

No.

Dan Searles:

They forget. They really don't. Bonds don't grow, even the muni bonds don't grow. But there are investments that will give you part of what the stock market makes in a index that's tied to the market. It's not in the market, but it's tied to the market. Those two types of investments, those can actually, in the right circumstances, do better than bonds. That's something that we try to let our clients know and at least have that option. Because in the last few years, as we've been designing portfolios, getting a greater return on bond has gotten more and more difficult. Of course cash is just given up. Sorry.

Fran Tarkenton:

And it's so smart, because you've got your money working in a safe place. No matter what era we live in, we have, maybe not as extreme as we've had in the last two months here, but something happens. We had a market that was going great, unemployment was below historic lows, people would work, markets were at all time highs. Everything was going, and nothing business wise caused this.

Dan Searles:

No.

Fran Tarkenton:

Something happened out there with this virus, and it started in China, and all of the sudden ... What does China have to do with America? I don't know, but it did ... To the rest of the world. We got to understand that these things happen, and we've got to be prepared for them before they happen. This is a good lesson for all of us.

Dan Searles:

They're called Black Swan events because nobody expected it, nobody saw it coming, but there it sits.

Fran Tarkenton:

There it is.

Dan Searles:

There it is. We'll get over it. Like you, I am absolutely positive. We've got a staff of 16, and I've sat down with them several times and said, "Look, guys, this is why we are needed. It's how we earn our keep and pay our families, is doing a good job right now. When it's going straight up, it's easy to be a hero. But when things get tough, this is when you get on the phone, you call people, you let them know that you're paying attention."

Fran Tarkenton:

What it's called is proper responsible planning that you do ahead of the curve.

Dan Searles:

Right.

Fran Tarkenton:

That's what you do with your clients. It helps you and I sleep better at night, working with clients.

Dan Searles:

Yep.

Fran Tarkenton:

You've said yourself, you've only had maybe three phone calls since this whole thing went out. That's an amazing system. But now is the time that all of us ought to look at where our money, how safe is our money, what kind of returns we're getting. But we got to look at safety.

Dan Searles:

Fran, one more thing ... Ways. If you think you're all in the stock market, and you're taking big income ... 4% is big income these days, to 5% to 6% ... I believe there's a great possibility you set up your plan wrong or your planner did. Please come see us, let us help you. This is what we're good at.

Fran Tarkenton:

We've been working with you for 10 or 11 years doing just that all over the country, and we've been doing for over 20 years, preaching the same message. We want our people to sleep well at night under any circumstances. You've got to do the proper planning, looking at reality. That's what you've done to your people, and I think it's a great service. I'm sure they, right now, need help like they've never needed help before. We hope all of you will come and see Dan and let him help you get out of this thing that we've been through the last few months.

Dan Searles:

I'll put my contact information on the end of this. If somebody wants to have a free consultation to see if our philosophy meets up with your needs, then give us a buzz. A lot of consultations, almost every consultation now, even before that ... We're in 30+ states. We did a review. We always do annual reviews for people. We did a review the other day in Dubai. Again, I don't know if it can get further than that.

Fran Tarkenton:

That's the great thing about technology, that we can be doing this in different parts of the country, and people and this that from all over parts of the country. It's more than a phone call. They can see us, and we can have a conversation and hopefully they'll give you a call and have that free consultation. Just going out and playing the market with all your assets and money is not a good way to go.

Dan Searles:

Right, right, right. I think that's been great. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say about these things. Can we talk sports just a second?

Fran Tarkenton:

Sure you can.

Dan Searles:

Okay. So I'm going to ask you, right now, what do you think are the top two or three best quarterbacks in the NFL? Who are you liking?

Fran Tarkenton:

The greatest quarterback that's ever lived is Tom Brady. He's 44 years old. Going to go to Tampa, that's a huge story. Being able to play pro football at 44 years old is crazy thinking. I went to 39.

Dan Searles:

Wow.

Fran Tarkenton:

At 39, I could not run anymore because I had injuries, and I was a runner and a scrambler. The first one that ever was. When I came up at 21, I could throw it 70 yards. At 39, I could throw it maybe 40. And Brady is playing at a high level, going to play at Tampa at 44. I'm anxious to see what happens. But we've got so many young quarterbacks coming up. When I came up 59 years ago, 1961, I was a scrambler, a runner and a passer. They said that was crazy. Quarterbacks weren't supposed to run, they're not supposed to be mobile. Took them 60 years to figure this out.

Fran Tarkenton:

Patrick Mahomes is a Super Bowl champion. He can throw it, but he can really run and buy time and let his receivers work. Now, if you don't have a mobile quarterback who can throw, number one, but doesn't have the ability to be able to pass the ball, to run to the ball, then you're hurting. We're seeing that transition. You're not going to see Tom Bradys anymore. You're not going to see Drew Breeses or Peyton Mannings, pocket quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes is what it's about. You're going to see more mobile quarterbacks.

Fran Tarkenton:

The number one pick this year will be the quarterback out of LSU. He's a mobile quarterback. He can throw the ball. He'll be the number one pick of the Cleveland Browns, of the Cincinnati Bengals, and rightfully so. We're seeing a really seismic change in the most important position in football. That's the quarterback.

Dan Searles:

Yeah, yeah.

Fran Tarkenton:

So it will be kind of interesting to see that play out, and I'm interested to see how Tom Brady plays out away from Belichick in Tampa Bay. That's an ongoing story.

Dan Searles:

I'll be watching every game.

Fran Tarkenton:

Oh yeah.

Dan Searles:

Just to see exactly that. One other thing. I may be the only one, but I'm a fan of these XFL and even the Canadian league, which I had a friend's son play in there years ago, and just love the league. But what do you think ... Is there a place for an XFL, essentially Triple A football, in the marketplace?

Fran Tarkenton:

I don't know. You know, many people have tried. Most of them have failed. Well, all of them have failed.

Dan Searles:

All have failed.

Fran Tarkenton:

NFL's got 32 franchises. They're strong. Probably the value of the lowest of the 32 would be $3 billion. The Minnesota Vikings started with $300,000 back in '61. That's changed. The business has changed. The NFL is run by television, and the television rights are enormous.

Dan Searles:

Probably 10 years ago I asked you to talk to my little travel baseball team, and the question was, what do you like better, sports or business? You got quiet. It was a phone call back then. You got quiet and you said, "You know, I think I'll have to go with business." You said, "Because I get to help more people for a longer time." That's what business is all about. That's why I've enjoyed our partnership so much, because that's my philosophy as well. We want to help, we're here to help. That's what we're all about. If we can help you, give us a call.

Fran Tarkenton:

It's all about doing the right thing.

Dan Searles:

Yep.

Fran Tarkenton:

It's always about treating people the right way. In football, teams win, individuals don't. We all need help. We all need to talk to each other. We need to be with people that we can trust that want to do the right thing and do the right thing. That's what you do, my friend, and you do it as good as anybody in the country.

Dan Searles:

Thank you.

Fran Tarkenton:

I hope these people, in this time of great trial, will reach out to you and let you help them, and you can help them.

Dan Searles:

Yeah. Well, God bless you, God bless everybody that's listening. We're going to get through it. Adios my friend.

Fran Tarkenton:

Thank you.

 

Fran Tarkenton is neither affiliated with Medallion Financial Group nor H. Beck, Inc.