“Commitment is an act, not a word.” – Jean-Paul Sartre (French philosopher / playwright)
One of the most important roles that we fulfill is that of stewardship. Webster’s defines stewardship as “careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” Many years ago, one of our clients referred to us as his “financial bodyguard”. While the words may differ, the meaning is roughly the same. Financial planning is aspirational at is core, and often client goals reach far beyond themselves to family, charities and others. Even when that is not the case, our role is to advise clients on how to prioritize and make choices so they don’t outlive their resources.
A Proactive Steward
We approach financial planning decisions from an unbiased, objective perspective. This allows us to guide clients with only their best interests in mind. Since all resources – including money are relatively scarce, we need to make well reasoned choices on matters that impact us financially – both now, and into the future. Unfortunately, the sensory bombardment each day by every conceivable media type focuses, not on stewardship (which is long-term), but on immediacy. We regularly remind clients that we achieve planning goals (and are thus good stewards) by action, not reaction. To “carefully manage” our resources we must sometimes step back and look well beyond our current situation in order to gauge the ultimate impact of financial choices.
A Shield from Fear
One practical way that we practice stewardship is by helping clients isolate fears from finances. Some clients have become “all-consumed” by fears about almost anything imaginable. The end result is stilted decision-making because of a fear that the decision is wrong. Helping clients re-gain confidence about their finances can be invaluable to their longer term aspirations.
Being a steward of the capital resources that you have involves much more than chasing the best investment returns. Investments comprise but a part, perhaps even a small part, of the whole formula needed for reaching and maintaining financial independence. As your stewards, we will support your goals to help you accomplish what you want financially.
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