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A Further Look | May 07, 2024

Commitment and Consistency: Sidney Crosby’s Lesson for Building One’s Legacy

David B. Root, Jr.


“To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.” -Lieutenant-Colonel John McRae WWI, ‘In Flanders Fields’

The inspiring quote above was painted on the home locker room wall of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1940s. It was painted by legendary coach Dick Irvin to inspire current and future players of one of the greatest teams in NHL history to appreciate what was accomplished by those who came before them.

As a kid who was a big hockey fan in the 1970s, I idolized Boston Bruins’ superstar Phil Esposito for the way he played the game. He used to score goals by the bushel in areas where other players were afraid to go – right in front of the net. I began to model my own style after him when I played. Old Espo has been on my mind a lot lately. Primarily because his place in hockey history as the NHL’s tenth all-time leading scorer was recently surpassed this season by current Pittsburgh Penguins’ star Sidney Crosby.

While I idolized Esposito as a kid, my admiration for this generation’s superstar, ‘Sid the Kid,’ has me in awe once again. I have an affinity for those who demand excellence from themselves every day, and for those who respect the impact and legacies of the people who pave the way for all who follow. Crosby and Esposito have embodied these ideals throughout their careers, which Irvin successfully instilled in the Canadiens superstars who came before them.

Carrying forward this philosophy is one of the occupational rewards of working in partnership with successful clients and their families. We honor their achievement while assisting them in finding their own net- front presence - their personal and family legacies.

Crosby’s legacy is still being built, but he has always shown a willingness to do the hard work necessary to win throughout his 19-year career. His coaches have openly praised Crosby for never saying the words, “That’s not my job.” Sid has always preached that those willing to put in the extra work will be rewarded.

Crosby has been consistently great while making it all seem simple. That should be the goal for all of us if we aspire to be great at what we do. As trusted advisors, our clients know exactly what to expect from us every day. If we do our job well, continually raising the benchmark for ourselves and our clients, then the work we put in will bring rewards for everyone.

Being a leader in your field requires doing more than what is expected and never ‘taking a day off.’ DBR & CO is a boutique firm, with experienced advisors who have put in the work to achieve a level of education and credentials that are hard to accomplish. Unlike larger firms, when you build a relationship with one of our advisors, you are working with a principal of the firm who takes the initiative for you and your family. They are well prepared to guide you - whether it’s finding the right long-term care insurance, positioning your portfolio to serve as the engine of your financial plan, exploring a Roth conversion, creating an estate plan for multiple generations of your family, or securing a continuity plan for a small business.

Helping others build their legacy can be our greatest reward. Our financial planning process was created to achieve success for clients over the long term. In many ways, a strong financial plan can help pave the way for future generations to build their own legacies. Team members like Chief Planning Officer Steve Kohler, CFP®, CPFA®, have consistently offered sound financial advice for decades. In Steve’s case, he has been performing at the highest level for more than 25 years. His work is a reflection of his commitment to clients, and he has delivered with such consistency that his efforts can sometimes be overlooked. It’s easy to forget the amount of effort Steve and his team put in because it becomes something his colleagues and clients have come to expect. Steve constantly raises the benchmark for himself and all of us at DBR & CO, as well as for his clients.

For Steve, it’s a simple formula: “It’s all about having a passion for the planning side of our business and feeling like part of the ‘team’ with the families we work with. Like Sid, our group puts in the work by continuously looking to educate ourselves and keep up with the changes in our industry as they affect our clients.” And he’s passing it along. Much like I did with him 25 years ago, he’s become a valuable mentor to our next generation of advisors.

We can often lose sight of what Steve and his team bring every day. If you master your craft and consistently execute, there will be no stopping you. Phil Esposito was one of hockey’s most prolific goal scorers, a place in history accomplished by consistently establishing himself in front of the goal. This earned him respect from fellow players and the admiration of his fans, as evidenced by a bumper sticker that became popular in Boston during his playing career there: ‘Jesus Saves…and Esposito Scores on the Rebound!’

Recently, Crosby was elected by his peers as the NHL’s most complete player. Such recognition requires courage to do the work others aren’t willing to do. His ability to stay focused on his mission during the many ups and downs of a long hockey season continue to make him a candidate for the NHL’s Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP.

Successful outcomes in our industry require this same level of determination. It’s about helping our clients put their stamp on the future and make a lasting contribution to future generations of their family. People seek to leave a legacy to know that their life mattered and that future generations will have opportunities to achieve success, however they define it. Gaining clarity on what you want your legacy to be begins with a plan and a commitment to seeing it through.

Thanks for reading.

This material has been provided for general, informational purposes only, represents only a summary of the topics discussed, and is not suitable for everyone. The information contained herein should not be construed as personalized investment advice or recommendations. Rather, they simply reflect the opinions and views of the author. D. B. Root & Company, LLC. does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Before making decisions with legal, tax, or accounting ramifications, you should consult appropriate professionals for advice that is specific to your situation. There can be no assurance that any particular strategy or investment will prove profitable. This document contains information derived from third party sources. Although we believe these third-party sources to be reliable, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information derived from such sources, and take no responsibility therefore. This document contains certain forward-looking statements signaled by words such as "anticipate," "expect", or "believe" that indicate future possibilities. Due to known and unknown risks, other uncertainties and factors, actual results may differ materially from the expectations portrayed in such forward-looking statements. As such, there is no guarantee that the expectations, beliefs, views and opinions expressed in this document will come to pass. Information presented herein is subject to change without notice and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. The impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 on the economy is highly uncertain. Valuations and economic data may change more rapidly and significantly than under standard market conditions. COVID-19 has and will continue based on economic forecasts to have a material impact on the US and global economy for an unknown period.

David B. Root, Jr.


Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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