Can we talk about goals?
You may spend time over the New Year’s weekend thinking about goals.
And goals — your goals — are something we talk about a LOT, here in the office and over the phone.
But just for a moment, I’d like to talk about MY goals.
Or better said, the goals of an advisor.
These goals might SEEM pretty simple.
After all, there are only a few goals all advisors should have:
1. Make sure clients’ investments are prudent and match up with the clients’ goals.
2. Things change. Life gets messy. Client investments need to STAY in line w/goals.
3. Stop clients from making serious mistakes with their money.
What do we mean “make sure client investments match up” with client goals?
We have had a few new clients come in and tell us they “want to be aggressive, but just don’t want to lose any money!”
For the record, “being aggressive, but just don’t want to lose money” is not usually possible!
Things DO change. And life does get messy. People move, change jobs, get married, injured, divorced, disabled, have families. And clients also lose family members to serious illness or death, etc.
Sometimes the goalposts NEED to get moved. This is why we send out the survey!
WE need to stay in YOUR loop.
What’s an example of a “serious mistake” with their money?
A 40 year old client states she needs to grow her 401k, so she can live off her retirement account through her sixties, seventies and beyond. But she panics every time the Dow Jones drops and calls us wanting to yank ALL her money out of the investments. She’s not thinking long term.
Now, back in my old stockbroker days, I would have asked “do you rip out those bushes you planted last month — just to see how the roots are coming along?”
(By the way, that line never went over very well. But the point usually sinks in.)
Like I said, these goals of an advisor may SEEM simple. But they’re not.
So, keeping in mind what this money represents to clients — or what this money needs to DO for clients down the road — we cringe a little when we hear someone say their goal is to “beat the market in 2015.” Short term goals (like that) could force folks to make errors.