I grew up in a middle-class family. Both my parents worked so it would have been very difficult for them to have more than one child as my mom would have to quit her job, and that would have hurt the finances.
Our family’s budget was limited! What it meant for me is that I did not have the luxury of wasting anything. I always knew if I broke or lost something, it would have been difficult to replace it right away. That is why I took very good care of my belongings. I still do. I have a sweater, a good quality one that I am still wearing, from 1984. (Ask my wife!)
After I studied business at college I joined an accounting firm, one of the Big Five. Then I moved to the insurance industry which made a lot of sense as it allowed me to work with numbers and manage risk. Protecting what you have is easier than replacing it, and costs less. Property and casualty insurance led to life insurance which in the end led to becoming a financial advisor. I guess it was the natural progression.
As a financial advisor I my role is to help my clients see the big picture: Let’s start where you are, what your dreams and goals are and see how we can help get you there. This can be a deep conversation and lead to discovering their emotions tied to money. Like I mentioned in my January letter, I sometimes feel like I am a coach and advisor at the same time.
It is amazing to see how our experiences from the past shape what we do with our lives. Even though some of the facts from our past look gloomy, they can help build our strengths around it. Not having too much money made me appreciate what I had and take calculated risks while eliminating the major ones. As this year’s Super Bowl proved, defense wins championships!
That does not mean I am a totally risk-averse person though. I can take big risks: I left everything I owned, a great job and a title and everything familiar to start a new life from scratch in my 30s. I will tell more about it in my March newsletter. There are many risks worth taking in life is what I will cover next time.