One day a nice lady came to my office seeking advice. She seemed quite distressed. When I asked what her main concern was she said, “My financial advisor has not made me any money in eight years.” As we reviewed her portfolio and the decisions that had been made along the way it became clear there was a need for some changes. I asked about her relationship with her advisor and she responded he was a nice person but that he had a narrow approach to investing and was resistant to change even though she often expressed concerns over the lack of progress. After I suggested some ideas to her, she graciously thanked me for my time and went on her way.
Several weeks later I ran into the same lady and asked her how things had worked out with her investing problems. She told me that she had gone to her financial advisor with her concerns and they had decided to just give it another year. She said she wasn’t totally happy with this decision but she figured she had given him eight years already so just one more wouldn’t hurt.
As humans we are wired to resist change. Most people keep way more stuff in their house than they need because they can’t bring themselves to get rid of it. We like to go on vacations to places we are familiar with and when we go to a restaurant, how many times do you find yourself looking at that huge menu, and then choosing the same thing you always choose? We develop similar habits with money. Young people who learn to save find it quite easy throughout their lives to keep saving. Those who are spendthrifts are constantly thinking that as soon as they get out of college, or get a promotion, or get the next job, money will flow in, only to find that they never seem to be able to get ahead.
As was the case with the lady who came seeking advice on her poor investing experience, there is a truth in life, (attributed to many authors), that goes like this. If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got. It is such a simple concept yet so difficult for many to accept. Somehow we think things will magically change, though we continue to do things just the same.
If you have struggled with debt, then stop hoping things will get better and start living on a reasonable budget. If you have been married for several years and your savings account is still empty, stop pretending the next raise will make a difference and start today saving 5-10% from every paycheck. If your investments have not worked out for many years, change the way you invest. Stop living on the hope that things will magically change while you keep doing the same things. Otherwise, like the lady who visited my office, you better plan on continuing to get the same disappointing results.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 1173 S. 250 W. Suite 505, St. George, UT 84770.
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