This week I began (and yes, celebrate) my fortieth year in the insurance, investment and financial advisory business. I have never been so committed, so excited and so passionate about this calling as I am right now, for many reasons!
I have been privileged to serve thousands of families over that time, but I also see that there is still so much work to be done. Most people would say that they believe they should save more; that they should have
(What exactly constitutes a competent professional is open for debate and very broadly defined. I never cease to be amazed at the variety of folk who study for a week or two in order to pass the life and health insurance test, or a securities licensure test, then join a firm and call themselves professionals – but I digress)
Nevertheless, when I meet with prospective clients who begin to share with me their desires for future security; their financial targets (college, vacations, retirement, travel, etc.) I come to realize that.
a)Their behaviors have no connection to the reality that they hope they will achieve one day;
b)The overwhelming majority of prospective clients (I’ll call it 80%) have not even covered the basics;
c)They have no idea about what they will actually achieve – in dollars – during the desired time period;
d)They have received no assurance from their advisor that their goals will be achieved;
e)They have no assurance that they will build and will not lose all their money in the interim;
f)They have no idea what their policies, contracts, legal documents actually say.
That might be the perfect formula for “job security” in the minds of some. As much as I might enjoy the thought of perpetual employment, I still have this nagging feeling that our work is supposed to raise the level of financial education, apprehension and yes, the actual level of wealth enjoyed by the participants!
And so I will continue to speak and to share and to educate and to plead with financial professionals and clients alike – that they set concrete goals; that those goals belong to the client, not the advisor; that they seek to protect against loss first and foremost; that they strive to overcome the human tendency to spend more than they make; that they give serious thought to building on the foundations that those before have laid; that they seek to create a large footprint that will exceed their dreams; that they commit to teach the next generation the importance of inter-generational wealth and legacy.
I wish you the very best future. Endeavor to think bigger, to plan, to imagine, to build, to work, to seed your dreams.