Not long ago, my travels in Ireland brought me some special insights. As I stood in the doorway of a fifteenth-century castle, I thought about times past. And since I am a financial planner, I thought about financial planning as it relates to time. Remembering all the plans I had observed over the years, I considered the best ways I could be a guide to my clients.
Some folks never learn it’s fine to spend money. Others never learn to save enough money. Most stand in the middle and wonder: What is enough? But regardless of where they stand, time passes.
No matter how well you plan around what you can control or influence, other things, such as unexpected personal or global events, can change the direction of your best-made plans.
While I was a young paratrooper in military intelligence, I learned to plan around a Mission-Essential Tasks List: Identify what is important, and then create primary, alternate, contingent, and emergency plans to ensure that the essential tasks are accomplished.
As a financial advisor, I sought counsel from many people—my grandparents, my professors, my parents, market analysts, portfolio managers, mutual and hedge fund managers, asset allocation experts—to learn about investing and the time value of money. But the dotcom recession and financial crisis early in the century taught me that probability and averages do not always coincide with important life events.
As a Certified Financial Planner™, and also as a historian and student of philosophy, I have learned that everything pales in comparison to listening to my clients’ personal values and life goals. Let’s identify what is essential for your mission. And then we will plan together.
J. Eric Copeland, CFP®
Private Wealth Advisor