When I entered the financial services industry many years ago, people turned to advisors for investment information because there was no internet back then. Today, people are looking for counselors to help them sort through the overabundance of conflicting information posted on the Internet.
With so much data, it is difficult to determine what is accurate.
I think a lot of the confusion has to do with meaning and context. For example, the word “goat” seems quite simple. If I read a book to my grandchildren, it’s a farm animal.
There is an image that they can see and understand. If I’m with a bunch of football-talking buddies, Tom Brady is a GOAT. The greatest of all time.
But in the office, my colleagues and I often talk about GOAT (Get Out and Travel) investments, which refer to such popular post-pandemic investments as airline and hotel stocks.
In the end, it’s all about content and communication.
Unfortunately, I think the more we use technology, the more our communication skills decline.
When I’m on the road, I like to ask small business owners how they’re doing. I recently spoke with the owner of a landscaping service in Northern Michigan. He told me that the cost of running his crew had increased dramatically. When he said crew, I thought he was talking about employee salaries.
I was wrong. For him, crew had a much broader meaning.
In addition to salaries, his definition included tools, equipment, fuel costs and supplies. So our conversation started with a miscommunication.
Plus, he was legitimately puzzled as to why a plant that cost him $8 last summer is costing nearly $35 this year.
He’s afraid that customers will think he’s scamming them. But he’s just trying to do a good job for them. He is forced to pass on price increases to earn a decent living.
It’s not a whim; it’s a necessity.
He was certainly aware that every aspect of his business was costing him a lot more money. Not to sound condescending, but he was unaware of a bigger, more complex picture.
An economic explanation of its problems can be summed up in one word.
As I mentioned, financial advisors help people sort through an overabundance of information. Occasionally, we tend to over-complicate our explanations by listing 10 reasons why we have inflation.
The simple solution to my landscaper’s situation is quite simple. With everyone else raising their prices, you have no choice but to raise yours. If you want to stay in business.
This is not our country’s first fight against inflation. As advisors, we take into account that goods and services cost more over time.
If you don’t expect prices to rise over time, you’re ignoring history.
When I look at my clients who are financially secure in retirement, it’s not so much that they’ve chosen the right investments to build a nest egg. Rather, it’s because when they were young and starting their careers, they chose to invest and stick with it.
And they stuck to it, through good and bad economic times.
With all the ups and downs in their lives, they were able to put money aside for retirement every pay period.
They understood that over time things tend to get more expensive. You should plan it.
Email your question to [email protected] Securities offered by Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered by Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), a subsidiary of Kestra IS. The Society for Lifetime Planning is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS.