Thanksgivings From Your Financial Planner
As a steward of your financial plan, I have a lot to be thankful for!
Every Thanksgiving Day, families gather around the table and tell each other what we’re thankful for. Yes, we are thankful that the U.S. equity markets are reaching new highs in 2019 – YTD through November 22nd:
- The DJIA is up 19.5%;
- The S&P 500 is up 24.1%; and
- NASDAQ is up 28.4%.
But, the performance of the stock markets doesn’t make my list of thanks (well, it does, but you know what I mean).
So, gather around the financial planning table and let me share what I’m exceptionally thankful for:
#1: My Clients
I give thanks every day to my clients, but in case not all of them hear it, let me proclaim it from the rooftops:
THANK YOU for being a client.
#2: My Team
I’ll never pretend I can provide my clients everything they need. I am blessed to have a wonderful team at Stratos and LPL that places our clients’ interests above all else. My team loves what they do and they are constantly trying to help our clients.
#3: Mutual Funds, ETFs and Closed-End Funds
I’ll be the first to suggest there are way too many products – there were close to 20,000 mutual funds, ETFs, closed-end funds and UITs at the end of 2018. That being said, these investment vehicles make it easier for everyone to invest so we can focus on long-term financial planning. Thanks financial services industry.
It was not that long ago when I would print out client statements minutes before a client came into the office for a review to make sure I had the most current statements at my fingertips. Today, clients can access their statements with one click on their cell phone. Or they can text me a quick question. Or watch a live financial planning hypothetical with me from the comfort of their home. Technology has made financial planning much easier, for sure.
#5: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. And while it’s easy to grumble about a government agency, the reality is they do a good job protecting investors. And I bet nobody ever thanks them. So I will: Thank you SEC.
Morningstar is a leading provider of independent investment research and provides data on approximately over half a million investment offerings, along with real-time global market data on nearly 18 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, foreign exchanges and Treasury markets. That’s a lot of research and data. And it is invaluable to helping guide my financial planning recommendations. Thank you Morningstar.
#7: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Social media has allowed me to reach my clients and their kids in new ways. While I might not be “teenager-proficient” at all of them, communication with clients is one of the most important things I can possibly do. So if clients want to receive communication via social media, want to digest information from me via their smartphones, then I need the right tools to accommodate. And Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn are great tools, So thank you Social Media.
This one might seem more appropriate within #4, but it really is different for me. We’re all bombarded with questions and data and if someone asks me something I don’t know, I often turn to Google for help. And according to Google, I’m not alone: there are over 40,000 Google searches per second, which is over 3.5 billion searches a day, which is 1.2 trillion searches per year. Thank you Google.
I’ll admit it, I cannot function without coffee. And I can’t tell you how many great conversations I’ve had with clients and prospects over a cup of coffee. Thank you coffee.
#10: My Calling
Merriam-Webster defines a “calling” as: “…a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” And at the risk of sounding trite, I found my professional calling as a financial planner. And I am very thankful for that. And I hope you find your calling.