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You Deserve It, But Have You Earned It?

As a financial advisor, there are times when I’m tasked with delivering a hard truth, and this concept happens to be one of them. This article might ruffle a few feathers, but recently I was struck with this concept after listening to my very responsible 10-year-old daughter proclaim, “Dad, I deserve a tablet.”

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Small Changes, Big Differences

For most people seeking financial advice, especially those approaching retirement, many of their large decisions have been made already. The house you live in, the size of your family, your career and lifestyle expectations are determined by this point. They’re unlikely to change and really set the foundation of your financial picture.

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Only You Can Make You Wealthy

We talked for another 35 minutes about her expectations and aspirations, but after a while, I simply told her, “I, and the stock market, cannot make you wealthy; only you can make you wealthy.” I further explained that the markets can help grow your money and help you stay wealthy, but counting solely on the financial markets, or an advisor, to make you wealthy is not enough. It is most likely that you will earn more in your business or career than you will earn from the investment markets. Your financial advisor does not make you wealthy. We are here to help you get to where you want to be given your circumstances. We help optimize your situation, help you make efficient decisions with your limited resources, get you to take action, and employ a disciplined approach to the investment markets. In other words, you might not bring filet mignon to my office, but I guarantee if you brought chop meat, I’d help you make the best meatloaf around!

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The Upswing of a New Swing

So, how does this relate to personal finance? Sometimes, making a change feels uncomfortable, but it often yields good results. Not only will the initial change provide benefits, but it often has a ripple effect and positively impacts future events.

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Money is Made to be Spent

Most people I speak with want to accumulate money, (nothing wrong with this) but after a brief discussion, they realize the accumulation of money is usually not the end goal. In other words, accumulating money for the sake of accumulating it is not the finish line. The accumulation of money is often a means to provide other venues and experiences in life. It ultimately becomes a tool to enhance their lives.

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Sleeping at Night Vs. The Optimal Financial Decision

While a calculator is a tremendous tool and the extent which we can model financial situations is truly mind boggling, however one basic problem remains- it does not have a brain and if it does not have a brain (to my understanding) it cannot consider “feelings”. Sorry Watson.

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