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Proactive Financial Planning

In a football game, no one wants to be down by two or three touchdowns at half time. That would mean you need to be absolutely perfect the rest of the game, avoiding mistakes and working that much harder than the other team to play catch up all the way!

Similarly, with investments, no one wants to have to play catch up. And you don’t need to do that as long as you plan pro-actively. And that can be much easier to do with the help of a good coach, teacher or mentor.

That’s where I can come in. I have a background as both a financial advisor and a teacher. My role is to teach and guide people and help them reach their goals. I want you to see the big picture, and to be proactive rather than reactive.

Without a game plan, it’s easy to get distracted by less important but immediate concerns. “How badly will China hurt my investments?” “Should I worry about the Fed raising rates?” “Why did my stocks lose 10% last month?”

Without a game plan and a clear sense of destination, it’s easy to get pulled off course by these distractions, whether big eye-catching headlines or an overwhelming change in current investor sentiment. As investors, we’re human, and our emotions can get the better of us. So, we need protection from the tendency to overreact emotionally.

It all starts with setting goals. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice is talking with the Cat about which way to go …

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

But in your financial life, it really does matter. You really can’t afford to wander around confused. Chances are you won’t get very far. And by the time you realize that, you’ll be… yes, you guessed it: Playing catch up!

This isn’t rocket science, but it doesn’t come easily to a lot of people. What many people lack is an organized, proactive approach. Take the time to understand your life goals and what that will mean financially.

How much will it cost to afford the kind of life you want in retirement? How many years do you have left to save and invest and move towards that goal? What kind of investment return can you expect? How will you come up with the money to invest? You may need to budget more carefully or review your priorities and shift them.

As your coach, I can help you with this game plan. I can provide you with a structure, ask you the right questions, answer your questions, and follow up with you. We can work together to be that team that takes the lead at halftime and doesn’t have to play catch up.

In practical terms, this can involve a financial plan based on an investment policy statement, what I call a Road Map. That’s a document in which you state where you plan to go with your savings and investments. By working with a good coach, you can have that discipline and stay on track. There’ll be less chance of being distracted by, or fearful of, market ups and downs, just like a well-prepared quarterback will be able to anticipate or read a blitz from the defensive team. Working together we can plan proactively, and have a better chance of a winning result.