One of my favorite poems is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. It is one of the most celebrated works in American literature. Like so many great poems, one of the outstanding features are the many different interpretations that exist. I believe that one of the great joys of literature is finding personal meaning in the words. Is it an expression of a confident traveler who chose the right path? What if the author is expressing regret about not taking the other road? These are interesting questions to consider. How can we apply this to our finances?
You are faced with regular decisions regarding money. We live in a fast-paced world with endless information at our fingertips. There are many decisions in life where you will have several options to consider. You may find things like investing and retirement planning frustrating because of the many choices available. With so many decisions to make, the tendency for many is to procrastinate or avoid the subject entirely. Choosing the right path financially takes patience and strength.
Trying to Choose the Right Path
I know one of my struggles throughout life has been perfectionism. There have been situations in my life where I tried so hard to make the absolute right decision. The more I thought about it, the more options floated around in my head! Did it help me make a choice? No, all it did was cause more delay and indecision. It has been a learning curve, but I have worked hard to improve in this area. Having discussions with people I trust has been extremely helpful. I have also learned that sometimes you have to make the best choice at the time, based on the information you have available.
I like to talk about a holistic approach to financial health. The same basic concept applies to physical fitness. When you start a workout program, you have to consider your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Once you get clarity on your objectives, you can design the appropriate workout and nutrition plans. Your personal goals are the most important consideration to choosing the right path. Total fitness for your money requires the same type of planning.
Partnering With the Right People
There are important reasons why people choose to work with a financial advisor. The majority of my clients are busy professionals who want to focus on other important areas of their lives. They appreciate getting personalized advice and a plan that is tailored specifically to their circumstances. I speak regularly about the unique relationship all of us have with money. Money comes with a great deal of emotion. Our money habits have been formed from a young age. Your experience with money is probably much different than mine. One of my main goals is to have the crucial conversations about your personal view toward money. There are solid financial principles that apply to most people, but specific details require more discussion.
Wealth Management For Everyone
There is a common theme that my clients regularly talk about. Because of the extreme demands on their time and energy, they feel strongly about getting their financial house in order. Working with a trusted professional gives them confidence about being on the right path. I am always happy to hear that people are ready to take their finances to the next level. I believe that all of us deserve proper financial planning. Wealth management is not simply for the wealthy! The road to financial independence may be the road less traveled in our society, but there is plenty of room for you and the people you care about.
I had an interesting discussion recently with a personal trainer. We were talking about the concept of everyone being an athlete. I think that is a great outlook for people to have. In fact, I feel that all of us are athletes, whether we like it or not! That concept simply highlights that all of us are ultimately responsible for our health and well-being. You may not be an elite athlete like a professional, but you have the ability to improve your fitness level. When I was training people full time, I applied that mentality to all my clients. Whether my client was a stay-at-home mom or a college athlete, I had their goals and objectives in mind for each workout. The intensity and duration might be different, but both clients were working on their athleticism and fitness level. We can apply that exact same concept to money.
All of Us Are Money Managers
Whether you like it or not, you are a money manager and a chief financial officer. All of us have the responsibility over our personal finances. Either you manage your money, or it manages you! It is important to get a system in place that gives you clarity on all the important elements of your financial life. We have to plan for today, tomorrow, and the future.
I love Mel Brooks movies, and he has a song in his film “The Twelve Chairs” titled “Hope For the Best, Expect the Worst“. The lyrics could apply perfectly to financial planning! The film has the typical Mel Brooks satire and comedic elements. Like his other movies, it also has many witty observations on life. Here are just a few of the words that stand out to me:
Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst
Hope for the best
Expect the worst
The world’s a stage, we’re unrehearsed
I knew a man who saved a fortune that was splendid
Then he died the day he planned to go and spend it
Life is sorrow – here today and gone tomorrow
Live while you’re alive, no one will survive – there’s no guarantee
I guess Mel Brooks has a talent for bringing comedy to the most morbid of subjects! All kidding aside, there is a lot of wisdom in those words. You have to anticipate the best and worst life can throw your way. You may feel “unrehearsed” when a new financial demand comes up in your life. It is critical to get as much enjoyment out of the present day, all while planning to secure a bright future. Life does not bring many guarantees, but it certainly provides a lot of great opportunity while we are here. I want money to be a tool that helps support a satisfying life for you and your loved ones.
Choose the Right Path For You
There are many choices in life, but you are the one that gets to determine the road you will take. Part of our journey as human beings is partnering with the right people to help us succeed. I often use the analogy of a marathon when discussing financial planning. It is important to put in the short-term work while focusing on the long-term objective. A good personal trainer will provide the same outlook. You appreciate that every workout takes on meaning and each meal provides the right kind of fuel for your body. If you do that consistently, you will see positive results. You can take the same approach with your money!
I work with people everyday to help them gain confidence for being on the right path financially. One thing I offer are complimentary consultations for people to discuss their financial concerns. I also provide free second opinions, where I will review your financial situation with you to evaluate different options. My desire is for you to feel confident of the road taken. Money is a tool that can enrich our journey through life. I want to make sure you are receiving the greatest benefit from your financial path.