October 19th has special resonance for financial advisors. It was on this day, 23 years ago, that the Dow plummeted 23% in one day. For those of us in the business then, it was a vivid reminder of the vagaries of human rationality and efficient markets. We were all glued to our Quotrons. (That’s an old-timey, flashback word!) There was little else to do.
October 19th is also “Evaluate Your Life Day”…which might be startling news to a number of you. It’s one thing to wake up and discover that the day is “National Cupcake Day” or “Hug Your Cat Day.” These would be relatively easy to deal with… (unless you are a celiac or cat-allergic.)
But “Evaluate Your Life Day?” As the kids say…”Whoa!”
The good news for financial advisors on “Evaluate Your Life Day” is that advisors are in the extraordinary position of being able to help others evaluate their lives…financially-speaking. In the spirit of “Evaluate Your (Financial) Life Day”, advisors might ask their clients and prospective clients the following series of questions:
- Are you happy with your financial status?
- What are your lifetime goals?
- Are you on a path to achieve these goals?
- What might you change in order to allow you to achieve these lifetime goals?
For financial advisors, asking the right questions is critical to helping others achieve personal happiness and success. Many of us get so caught up in the day-to-day clamor and hubbub that we rarely take the time to examine whether we are on the right path to reaching our potential… financially and otherwise. Financial advisors are in the unique and enviable position of guiding their clients to initiate positive change that will better the lives of their immediate family, as well as future generations.
Speaking of evaluating your life, there is a NY Times #1 bestselling book entitled, “Well-Being: The Five Essential Elements” that might be just the tonic for what ails you. Authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter were moved by the abundance of research by the Gallup organization to create an assessment called the Well-Being Finder. They postulate that there are universal elements of well-being…5 interconnected elements that differentiate a thriving life, from one of toil and suffering:
- Career Well-Being: People who are happy to go to work each day, appreciated and respected by their peers and associates, able to speak with pride about their company to others.
- Social Well-Being: Those with several strong relationships, and able to activate a support system when encountering problems. They feel loved.
- Financial Well-Being: People who manage their finances prudently, are aware of costs and are in control of expenditures. They are frugal but not cheap.
- Physical Well-Being: Those who get sufficient rest, as well as rigorous regular exercise, have plenty of energy in reserve, and eat sensibly.
- Community Well-Being: People who are actively and productively engaged in the neighborhood and in the community, as well as in various groups within the area, such as a church, P.T.A., Crime Watch, Meals on Wheels, homeowners' association, etc.
Interestingly, of the thousands of individuals surveyed for their well-being in each of these categories, just 7% were thriving in all five…66% were doing well in only one of the five areas. How do you compare? What about your clients?
That’s enough well-being for now. Hope you are well and that you enjoyed it. Now back to work for you.