Recent turbulence in the financial markets has caused us all to question our financial plans. We are bombarded daily with advertisements and sales pitches from self-proclaimed experts, financial gurus, and all manner of miracle money managers wanting to sell us their financial plans. Buying someone else’s financial plan is much like buying someone else’s shirt. Odds are it won’t fit, you won’t like it, and the process is somewhat distasteful.
Recently, my coauthor Tim Maurer, who is a certified financial planner, and I have completed a new book — The Ultimate Financial Plan. In our book, we do not provide answers as much as we pose questions and give readers the criteria to develop their own strategies and surround themselves with their own team of experts.
In The Ultimate Financial Plan, I focus on what I call Timeless Truths. These are the age-old principles that guide our lives and, therefore, our money. Over the years, I have found that it is easy to manage my money, but it is difficult to manage me. Money is a tool or a vehicle. It has no use other than to do what you want it to do and take you where you want to go. Any decent financial plan has, therefore, got to be customized for you. No one else knows your hopes, dreams, and ambitions or the plans that you have for your family or your future.
Once you’ve decided where you want to go in your life, then you’ve got to make your money work for you as hard as you have worked for it. My coauthor, Tim Maurer, has all of the credentials, certifications, and experience that I would want from any financial planner, but the reason I am pleased to have Tim as my coauthor is the fact that in his financial practice and in his life, he puts people first.
In our collaboration, Tim deals with Timely Tips designed to help you financially get from where you are to where you want to be. He also helps you look beyond the smoke and mirrors created by bias in the marketplace.
You have got to understand that everybody who wants to sell you a financial product or charge you to manage your money has a bias. This is not bad. It is simply reality and a part of human nature. We all know that when we wander onto a car lot, we will be invariably approached by a sales person wanting to sell us a car. We all understand that the car dealer and his sales people have an ulterior motive in having us buy their car. The same is true in the financial services industry. Whether it be a broker, banker, insurance salesman, financial planner, or a guy like me who sells books, we all have built-in motives to get your business. This can be healthy and natural when you begin to understand how the finances work and how the profit is structured behind the curtain.
It is my hope that The Ultimate Financial Plan will be entertaining, informative, and serve as your ongoing roadmap to reach your financial destination.
As you go through your day today, realize that the ultimate financial plan is the one that will take you on a customized route from where you are to where you want to be and will make your money work for you.
Today’s the day!
This is the latest “Winner’s Wisdom” column by Jim Stovall — co-author of The Ultimate Financial Plan.