There’s a lot of talk about wealth – how to create it, grow it, keep it – but we often wonder if people have truly taken the time to define exactly what it means to them. Everyone has at least a partial definition, but it is the full definition which is most important. If you don’t understand what really constitutes real wealth, you’re liable to wind up missing the goal and facing a less fulfilling future than you want.
As fiduciary financial advisors, we can help you accumulate money, but that won’t make you rich. This is especially true if you’ve traded your health, relationships and mental sanity for a fat investment account. When people dream of becoming rich, most of them are not trying to accumulate millions of pieces of paper. Their real goal is the feelings and/or experiences which those pieces of paper can provide. It might be security, freedom, comfort, travel, shared experiences with family and friends, etc.
The Other Side of Wealth
If you take a moment and think hard enough, you can come up with a couple of names of people who had millions, but were unhappy (the famous comedian Robin Williams was “rich” but miserable, ultimately taking his own life). You can probably also name several acquaintances – or even family members – who figuratively burned themselves up pursuing those pieces of paper at the expense of their health and their families.
Fully identifying your goal is critical to achieving success. In working with all sorts of clients for over 40 years, we have found that if you singularly and obsessively pursue wealth, you’ll make decisions along the way which you’ll regret, and the happy-ever-after years won’t be that happy.
On the other hand, our 40+ years of experience has demonstrated that if you define your goal as something more balanced – like achieving an enjoyable lifestyle, creating and funding wonderful shared experiences, and/or being able to bless the next generation – you’ll make decisions along the way which better balance the competing options and priorities we all face.
Attaining Real Wealth
When we say “real wealth” we are speaking about something more than just the dollar amount in your investment portfolio. Don’t get us wrong, money is important, but “real wealth” is always a balance between your financial wealth and how that wealth impacts your goals and lifestyle. At First Financial Consulting, we believe that acquiring real wealth is a fundamental component of a healthy life.
All our experience reaffirms our belief that we can help you attain real wealth in several key ways by:
Defining your goals fully – being able to quantify what that enjoyable lifestyle looks like, what funds are needed for those shared experiences, and what legacy you want to leave is more complicated than it may seem.
Balancing the competing options and priorities – figuring out how pursuing some goals might hamper others allows you to make the trade offs which are best for you.
Selecting the right tools to achieve your goals – assessing the rewards, risks and costs of various financial tools helps you pick the right ones.
Assessing when mid-course corrections are needed – reviewing your progress on a regular basis saves you from making huge costly mistakes.
Weathering the inevitable personal and financial storms – knowing how to react wisely, not emotionally, during trying times can make the difference between tremendous success and crippling failure.
Accomplishing Your Goals
As you can see in the points above, we go beyond just helping you define your goals fully. If that’s all you – or we – did, your goals would remain pipe dreams. Accomplishing your goals requires a decision and action. Reflect on that for a moment.
Your decisions will impact your future more than your conditions will. All of us have faced difficult conditions at one time or another, or even multiple times. While you can’t just ignore your conditions, you don’t have to let them defeat you. Whether its financial, professional, relational or medical, how you react depends on the decisions you make – whether to give up, to persevere through a tough time, or adjust your strategy. To accomplish anything meaningful, you have to decide to do it.
Taking Actionable Steps
Then you have to take action. You have to take concrete steps to accomplish your goals. We will help you determine what actions to take, and then help you implement them. The financial components of your goals, and the actions taken to achieve them, can be measured fairly specifically. This is where a significant degree of study has been conducted to determine how the right advisor can help you.
The world is becoming more, not less, complicated and specialized. We’re all smart enough to know that we don’t set our own broken bones, build are own houses, etc. Even if you do some of these, you probably don’t do all of them. You know that allowing a specialist to do some of these will save you time and money, and give you a better quality product or service than you could provide. The financial arena is no different.
Aided By Good Financial Advice
A Vanguard research study concluded that good financial advice can provide 3.75% per year in added value. However, it has to be the right advice from the right advisor. Choosing someone you can trust is a critical decision and, as this study shows, can be well worth the effort.
We want to help you achieve a truly meaningful and financially secure future. We will work with you to develop a solid plan, select the rights strategies, make necessary adjustments along the way, and weather the inevitable financial storms. Ultimately, we judge our success by your success. We are 100% objective and provide advice you can trust. If we can be of assistance, or if you just want a second opinion, please let us know. We’re always here to help.