Years ago, my friend and roommate Stu told me, “Don’t worry, I got your back.” I remember the feeling that I got when he said that. I felt special and protected, knowing that someone was looking out for my interests so that I would not get hurt. It is now decades since Stu said that to me. I smile when remembering that conversation. Given my occupation as a financial advisor, the statement has taken on a whole new meaning. I will pose these questions to you: Who has your back? Who is looking out for you and your family’s interests? Who makes sure you don’t do something foolish or stupid?
Is there someone who makes sure you don’t take too much financial risk or that your investments are properly diversified? Is there someone who makes certain that you have disability, life, auto, home and liability insurance? Is there someone who is concerned if you have not executed needed estate-planning documents? Who has your back?
Our financial lives have become more complicated when compared to those of our grandparents. Years ago, people dealt with a bank for a mortgage, a stockbroker for investments, a lawyer for a will, and an insurance agent for life insurance. None of these providers ever spoke with each other. The concept of a team working for your family’s interests was foreign and had not yet taken hold. Seldom did a stockbroker inquire if you had adequate insurance coverage. Your banker did not suggest investments other than a savings account or time deposit (CD).
Today we have wealth management, financial planning, investment management, asset management, and a host of other terms that describe what essentially are others hired to watch your back and your money. These services come in many varieties. Some are cheap and some are expensive. Others involve a single person or teams of people. Some are robots and computer programs.
As technology pushes ever forward, we have apps on our phones that connect us to stock exchanges, banks, and insurance companies. With our phones, we can take a picture of a check and make a deposit without ever going to the bank; file an insurance claim and transmit pictures of our car accidents; and trade stocks while walking down the street. We can do all of these things, and all the while, lacking the wisdom to make sure we are doing the right things for our families. Just because I can purchase 200 shares of stock on my cell phone in seconds does not mean it’s a good idea or good investment.
Technology will not stop you from doing something stupid. That is the job of a friend, a family member, or an advisor. I hope you know who to turn to when you need advice or guidance. Me? I was very happy and blessed to have Stu.
Copyright 2015 by Rodger A. Friedman
Forging Bonds of Steel, LLC