Last month I told you how my childhood shaped my career, and how I had to eliminate many risks in my life.
As I mentioned, that does not mean I do not take risks at all. I do! The biggest risk of my life was to leave my job at insurance company as the vice president. I did not only leave my job, my title and my stable life but also I left my country. My wife, our 4-year-old son and I stepped into the complete unknown when we moved to the US leaving behind everything familiar. We did not have a job or a house waiting for us here. We had some savings, but nothing that would last for years to come. I think everybody would agree this does not look like a risk-averse person. I am not.
There are many reasons behind this decision and I don’t plan to bore you with the details. All I can say is it was a big risk, but to us it was one worth taking. We all have those moments in our lives where we feel like we are at a fork on the road: changing jobs, starting our own business, ending a relationship or starting a new one, moving to another city or a country. These decisions are made based on our priorities in life and what we value the most. Do we value to be in a long term relationship more than our independence? Do we want to start a business and take the risks of not having a stable income? When we move to another place, do we value all the new things we will learn from this new experience or all the things we leave behind?
It is the same with our hard earned money. Where and how do we want to spend it? Do we want to spend it on traveling or on our grandchildren or both? What kind of a lifestyle do we want in retirement? If we want to have a better life than what our savings can provide now, maybe we are up to working another 10 years to make it happen. It is what we value and prioritize the most. We take risks in every decision some more than others. In the end, every decision is a choice. This will differ from one person to another. Some of it is based on circumstances but some definitely is based on what we value in life.
This is again why I chose being an independent financial advisor. I did not want to be constrained by one company’s products. Instead, I wanted to be able to choose from several products to find the best fit for my client’s situation.
At the end of the day we all seek to find the right balance between taking some risks to live our dreams and being careful on how to spend our time and money. We do not want to be too timid but we do not want to overdo it, either. It is never one thing; it all depends on a combination of factors like our dreams, our circumstances and risk tolerance level.
That is why it is very important for me to understand the goals, the wishes and the dreams my clients have. Everyone is unique. There is no cookie-cutter solution. I don’t appreciate when some ‘experts’ in the media give the same financial advice for everyone. It can never be the same solution to everyone!
One size does not fit all!