This year’s Boston Marathon took me down memory lane. While working at John Hancock, I applied to run in the 2015 Boston Marathon on a sponsor’s exemption. I was nervous, and uncertain what the event would be like, but I knew it was a goal to go after if I was selected. The very next day I received the good news. That’s when the big questions started coming.
What do I do now? What do I do next? How should I train even though I know how to run? What is the process for preparation to be able to reach the goal of crossing that finish line?
To prepare for competing in the marathon my focus turned to how to navigate between getting ready to compete, and then the endurance necessary between the start line and the finish line. Reflecting upon this, I was inspired by many similarities to preparing for and nurturing wealth building.
In a marathon, there is an end in mind … crossing the finish line. Running the marathon to completion is akin to seeing all your hard work pay off. But it isn’t just about the finish line. In a marathon, you already know you need to run 26.2 miles. You might have a time that you want to finish within. Like wealth building, you should understand your goal and its timing.
What is the finish line for your wealth building? Is it getting to retirement with the financial wherewithal to enjoy it? Is it beyond retirement to building generational wealth? Knowing your end target is necessary to properly prepare and plan.
Whatever your end financial goal is, here’s what it will take:
Looking back, I will tell you that the joy was in the journey and the satisfaction was in finishing the race. It made sense later to me why the patient, consistent, steady build-up to race day was so important. Each day of training helped me get “one step closer” (sorry for the pun) to reach my goal.
CASE BRIEF: Growth for the Long Run
Back in 1988, a client was working for a landscape company he dreamed of eventually owning and leading. His goals were clear about ownership and the areas he felt he could grow the company. He was committed to the hard work, time, and effort that it would take to make this dream a reality.
Over the next two years, we helped him negotiate the buyout of the aging owners. Both parties wanted to see this company grow and the legacy of their service continue. With our guidance, this new owner laid out a vision for the existing employees, engaging them as the team key to growing the business. This owner knew the work required and understood that there was expertise he lacked in certain areas. As his “financial coach,” we stepped into those areas and began advising him about what he should consider doing.
Because of his discipline and his patience, he weathered storms no one could have foreseen. Because he had a clear vision of his finish line, he stuck to the plan and came out ahead each time. Over 35 years, he met these challenges by diversifying his opportunities. Diversification for him included launching businesses that contracted others to do the work complementary to his main business. He then brought these capabilities in-house, giving the business more stability through multiple channels of revenue. By diversifying his business, his portfolio holdings, and his wealth, it strengthened the whole body and framework of his financial plan toward reaching his vision — his finish line.
Today his financial wealth is on target and in good shape. He has a growing business, various real estate holdings, and something else of which he is most proud, his children, and the family’s next generation is involved in the business. It was his commitment to approach his role as a marathoner combined with trusting his team, heeding the advice, adjusting where necessary, reviewing the plan, and sticking to it, that helped everyone keep their eye on the finish line.
Many of our clients have accumulated wealth by sticking to the plan, remaining diligent, and not panicking if there is a setback. Because they knew the destination, they could be steadfast and confident in the long run. They know it isn’t a race to the finish, it is a journey.
It’s like our previous blog about growing grapes and making wine. Some things just take time. And along the way, you should also enjoy the fruits of your labor. You need to enjoy life in the here and now. I didn’t train for the marathon 24/7. I took some days off. You need some days off too, and to splurge a little as a reward for your discipline in reaching your milestones along the way.
Approaching your financial planning with patience, consistency, and a steady build-up is the best way to reach your finish line.
Matt Hudack, CLU, ChFC
This communication is for informational purposes only and does not purport to be a complete statement of all material facts related to any company, industry, or security mentioned. While not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness, the information provided has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The opinions expressed reflect our judgment now and are subject to change without notice and may or may not be updated. Past performance should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of future performance, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. This notice shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which said offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful before registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state. The newsletter from which this article was taken was initially prepared and distributed to our valued clients and industry partners. Readers who are not market professionals or institutional clients of Financial Synergistics Group, Inc. should seek the advice of their financial advisor before making any investment decisions based on this communication. Additional information on any securities mentioned is available on request.
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