• David H. Kinder, ChFC

If Financial Planning was Chess... Which Assets and Accounts Would Be Which Pieces?

Updated: Feb 2


Chess is a game of strategy - no question about that. I am a chess amateur. I usually play against the computer - so no one else can see how bad I am!


First, let's identify the King. You are the King. The king doesn't move much - just one space at a time. Every other piece is to defend you and attack your opponent and their pieces.


What would be a pawn? It would be any account or asset that you get because it's a good idea and probably cheap enough to get. An individual stock, a savings bond, term insurance, disability coverage, supplemental health insurance (like an accident policy)... anything that you say "I'd like that" without necessarily coordinating that decision with anything else.


What would be a knight? The knight on the board doesn't move much, but it can be strategic. So I would categorize both Traditional IRA or Roth IRA contributions. These are limited contributions, so they don't do a whole lot, but it could help current year or future year tax situations.


What would be a bishop? Bishops can go across the board diagonally. Very powerful pieces on the chess board, but limited in their movement and versatility. I would put 401(k) (and similar plans), 529 plans, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE-IRA, and similar plans in this category. Powerful, but limited.


What would be a rook? Rooks go across the board up and down. Very powerful pieces on the chess board, but limited in their movement and versatility. I would put 401(k) (and similar plans), 529 plans, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE-IRA, and similar plans in this category. Powerful, but limited.


What would be the queen? In the game of chess, the queen moves up, down, and diagonally across the board. I would put a max-funded cash value life insurance policy in this category. Why? Because that asset can help you acquire MORE assets without sacrificing the original asset! It can help you grow your assets by borrowing against the policy's cash values, not sacrificing them.


Could you imagine playing chess without the queen? Why would you "play the financial game" without one of the most valuable pieces available for your game?

Who is your opponent? Who are you playing 'against'?

In my opinion, you are battling your financial assets against those who would legally rob them from you:

  • Banks

  • Financial Institutions

  • Wall Street

  • Internal Revenue Service

You can USE them, but don't let them ABUSE you. But to do that, you have to know the rules of the game.


By the way, isn't it also true that, through the laws, that banks, financial institutions, Wall Street, and the IRS can change the rules on you in the middle of the game? Your OPPONENT (using the game analogy) can change the rules! Do you think those rules are designed to benefit YOU... or THEM?


"Don't move until you see it."


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