I recently met with a friend of a client who was looking for help with her personal finances. After a bit of small talk, we discussed her reasons for meeting. Her first and immediate response was, “I need you to make me wealthy.”
Some people during the first meeting break the ice with a witty comment about making them rich or set some outlandish goal. It’s usually obvious they’re joking; however, I got the impression she was not. Instead of dismissing her comment, I dug a bit deeper. I learned she has been with two advisors over the past three and a half years (four over the past 10 years), and she felt they were not making enough money for her to retire. She felt an advisor, via the stock market, was there to make people rich.
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.
Let me say this again: the markets alone will not make you wealthy. However, I’m not discounting the idea of systematically saving and investing over a long period to build wealth. However, the key to this recipe is you working and contributing regularly.
A great chef I worked with always said, “people are always making something out of nothing, but you can’t make filet mignon from chop meat.”
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!