Why does this blog make sense for me?
That question has come up often and since yesterday was article 1800, I thought maybe it was time I answered it. If only for my own thinking.
There are several reasons I do it
- It’s fun. I like to write and this is a good way to express some of the things that seem important to me. Most of the articles are about financial things or the advisor business or maybe education and financial literacy. There are a few rants, too. Many connect otherwise disconnected ideas. That is the fun part. Like yesterday about financial planning and martial arts.
- I care that advisors provide a useful and efficient service for their clients. I want clients to find a way to connect to the tactical infrastructure.
- I think most clients think financial planning is something that is one of, unnecessary, easy, something someone else can do for them. It is none of those. It is crucially important. Especially so in times like these. It is not a good do-it-yourself project and people are led to believe it is. Some can find the insight in these articles.
- I like to think there is a simple takeaway in each piece, that advisors can use to discuss with their clients. Or maybe a client can take to their advisor.
- I think almost every adult is financially illiterate when they are young and only a few gain the expertise they need to make sound decisions. Blame the school system and parents who have learned to get along, but do not know how they do it. Learning late is better than not learning, but time is the key resource. Starting late is dramatically more difficult. Learn to start earlier or use the articles to help people see the need.
- I think many advisors would have trouble giving a complete answer to two simple questions about financial planning. “What is it?” and “What’s it for?”
- Most clients would have trouble answering the question, “what do advisors do?”
- I think most clients would benefit from using common tools to make their financial lives more efficient. Simple works. Complex is risky.
- I think most financial commentators produce mostly nonsense. Exciting sometimes but mostly irrelevant for the average client. No one knows the future and picking a narrow set of statistics to prove some point is wrong. In math, there is an idea that says there is always more than one way to describe a given data set. I like to point oput some of the obvious ones.
- Like the headline says, “Money is merely organized common sense.” Once it gets past that, people become prey. Few people understand money and value it in the wrong way.
- I think people start planning in the wrong place. If you don’t know what you are trying to do and what your resources are, it is impossible to decide if a particular tactic (tool) works for you. If someone starts the discussion with a tool without asking how it would work for you, they are working their plan, not yours. Start with strategy. It won’t take an hour to get one that works to begin. Good plans evolve.
- When people see how hopes, fears and expectations fit seamlessly with readily available tools, financial planning and execution becomes automatic.
- I think I can help people see the method.
Should I keep doing it?
That is a hard question for me.
I like doing them and up until lately, they were not a burden. They are getting fewer views this year than in other years and that troubles me a little. Maybe I have run out of useful ideas.
The articles take time I could use differently and since they have made $0.00 so far, maybe I should reallocate that time.
They don’t bring in new clients, but I think I am more skillful dealing with clients because of them. I have had to clarify my own thinking on some of the planning points.
Few people comment on them, good or bad, so I don’t learn much. Strangely, easily half the comments come from South Africa or Australia. That may have some meaning, but I don’t know what it is.
Where to from here?
I have not decided yet and as a short term enterprise, I think I will go to 2000 articles, maybe 2018, for symmetry, which should appear around the end of next February.
You can help
Please send feedback. What you like and don’t like. Some people think they are too long. That might be true but I don’t have the time to make them short. Short and complete is hard. Maybe fewer and shorter would work. Any ideas are welcome.
Please be in touch. Thanks for reading.