Managing a household be challenging even for the best of us. No matter what your status in life, chances are you worked very hard to earn the money you have. What if something unexpected were to happen? Two proven ways to prepare for change are 1) to educate yourself and 2) to plan ahead with a professional.
Walking the Tightrope of Risk
One sunny afternoon, a daring street performer crossed Niagara Falls. To make the stunt interesting, he decided to push a wheelbarrow across a tightrope. “Ladies and Gentleman! Children of all ages! I am now going to push this wheelbarrow on this tightrope across this waterfall. Who thinks I can succeed?”
A crowd cheered him on. Slowly, steadily and ever so carefully, he crossed the falls. Stunned observers watched aghast. Eventually he reached the other side. The crowd cheered wildly!
“Was that amazing?!”
“Yes! Yes!” the crowd shouted back.
“Do you think I can do it again?”
“Yes! Yes! Do it again! Do it again!”
“OK! Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow?” The thunderous applause instantly became complete silence.
This humorous parable is one of my favorites because it starkly illustrates risk tolerance. Sure, it is easy to watch others take exciting risks, but we feel differently about our own risk, do we not?
My friends, allow me to explain the metaphor. The performer crossing the tightrope represents you as an investor! The slow journey across the tightrope represents the decades of your lifetime. The wheelbarrow represents your financial dreams. The waterfall represents the never ending changes in global markets, law and the cyclical economy. What about the crowd, you ask? They represent all the onlookers willing to give free advice. They are all “experts” that surround us at the water cooler at work, or in the pub or in the mainstream media. What is the solution?
Why Choose a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner?
Simply stated, you deserve a professional who understands you. Everyone wants to be financially successful but in my experience success means different things to different people. Personal financial advisors are willing to discuss your life with you individually. They help clients articulate, define and plan their long term financial success.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioners are unique because they are trained in multiple disciplines. They are also required to adhere to the highest ethical standards. They are able to provide detached objective advice and insight when a client may need it most.
It Pays to Plan Ahead
This is a true story. In the 1940s a farmer was accidentally pinned under his tractor, which had rolled. Fearing the worst, he whipped out his pocket knife and scratched the following into the fender: “I leave everything to my wife.” A few hours later, he died. Luckily for his wife, the court upheld his last minute will and testament. This is a touching story, but hopefully there is a lesson here for all of us. Plan ahead! For example, I hope you never find yourself saying:
- “Darn it! The doctor says I have cancer. I guess it is time to get serious about my life insurance.”
- “Shoot, is that ambulance here already? Hold on a minute while a do a health insurance review.”
- “The Stock Market is down drastically today? Wow, I hope I was positioned defensively.”
- “What do you mean I owed $30,000 to the IRS this year?”
- “I’m 64 today. Happy birthday to me! I guess it is time to start saving for my retirement.”
These lighthearted examples are intended to be entertaining. I wish I could say I have never met people who have been in similar situations, but honestly in my years of practice I actually have. The reality is the majority of us simply do not plan ahead financially.
Can I really afford a Financial Advisor?
Financial missteps can be costly. Procrastinating can also be extremely expensive. A more appropriate question may be, what is the cost of not having a financial advisor?
At Castle Rock Investment Company we offer different options to accommodate clients at different phases in their lives. Whether you are newlyweds or great-grandparents, Castle Rock Investment Company has a flexible fee structure to help accommodate most budgets. Call for a free consultation.
What if you met with a professional for an annual financial review? What if you had a devoted guide to help you make educated financial decisions? What if you had access to objective advice that coincided with your long term goals and dreams? What if someone got into the wheelbarrow with you?
Written by Michael Angell, CFP®, EA
Castle Rock Investment Company