On my radio show, I often talk about people being in a financial no man’s land. I’ve been asked what does that really mean when I say it. The answer is simple, many in this position aren’t really happy with where they are, but they’re just not unhappy enough to do anything so they do nothing, often for years.
I have had the pleasure to meet a great deal of amazing people. I enjoy hearing their stories about the families they have raised, the places they have travelled, their careers or businesses and all of the challenges that they have faced. Once they have gotten to me they have usually dealt with multiple kinds of people in the financial industry all the way from annuity salespeople, insurance people and some financial advisors usually over a 25 or 30 year time period. By the time they meet with me, they’re typically in very early retirement and quite frankly want a real financial solution but most are convinced that all advisors are the same and there really isn’t a difference and they are tired of it all.
The first meeting is always interesting to me and after almost 20 years in this business, I typically know whether I’m going to work with that family or not. I have seen people with products and tools that are detrimental to their financial success and cannot let go of them. Fees, out dated products, poor performance irrelevant portfolios, no service whatever the reason is, some people can’t let go.
I met a gentlemen one time who went boating and golfing with his advisor. He’s been told by 2 different investment firms during a second opinion meeting that he had a low probability of success and would run out of money on his current path and he still didn’t have the emotional capacity to leave his advisor. I was frank and asked him why he wanted a 3rd opinion and his answer was that he didn’t want the other 2 prior plans to be true even though his “buddy” in the business said he was just fine. As I looked through his portfolio it was clear that it was put together about 15 years ago and never touched again. It was so far out of the ballpark that as soon as I started to mention how bad it was he would quickly make an excuse for each poor holding. After realizing that the meeting wasn’t going anywhere I respectfully told him that I didn’t think that we would be a good fit. As he walked out and shook my hand he reiterated what a great guy his advisor is, and I just said that I was sure he was, what else could I say?
This man was clearly in a financial no mans land and although feels safe and content today, it will become very clear how dire his finances are down the road often when he’s too old to jet ski and also realizing that he can no longer go back to work. He’s not the only one, many people look like a deer in the headlights and are sometimes so overwhelmed that they do nothing and are in hopes that things will be OK.
It is truly the clientele that are forward thinkers, embrace change, want to be involved in their finances and want to know where they will be financially all throughout their life and being able to accomplish their set goals and objectives. The ones who interact the most and ask proactive questions and jump into their portfolio or financial plan. The majority of them are nervous at first, maybe its fear of the financial unknown, but they want answers, calculated answers. They are the ones that I fight for and my staff is no different.
Whats the solution? Get out of that “No Mans Land”. Accept that your portfolio isn’t going to do what you want it to do. Go out and interview 3 advisors, get referrals, ask what their plan of attack is? Is there an interactive plan tied to your brokerage accounts? Do you have an income plan that shows where your income is coming at age 89, 90, 91, 92 and then some? What does the service matrix look like and how will you know if you really are doing well?
When it comes to your finances, your financial life, your dreams and your goals, be sure to challenge your status quo and find someone who will not only look out for your best interest but fight for you.
If you feel that you are in a financial rut, break out of it today and don’t wait 3 and 4 years like many do, do it today and your future self will thank you.