This past quarter, a significant milestone was achieved. Bootstrap Capital turned five years old! I wanted to take a moment to thank all of my clients, family and friends who supported me in this journey. It is an enormous privilege and honor to share with such amazing friends and colleagues. Building this business is a wonderful endeavor that is enjoyable and fulfilling. I could not have done it without all of you.
I thought I would share with you five things I have observed about personal finance during the last five years:
It is Complicated.
I’ve always felt that the financial services industry made managing money as confusing and intimidating as possible. I think they do this to try to scare people into working with them. When I work with clients, I like to start as simply as possible. Begin with simple first principles and make plans only as complicated as needed.
That said, things can get complex really quickly. When you consider all the different retirement, education and savings accounts that you might have or need. Plus various goals like retirement, college savings, children, houses and the occasional night out. It is no wonder people get overwhelmed and procrastinate.
It is Fun.
Financial planning and investing is a process designed to help you meet your goals in a responsible way. It’s incredibly satisfying to see people tackle and meet goals like buying a house or taking a sabbatical. When you manage your finances in a way that aligns with your values, achieving your goals can give a great sense of accomplishment.
It is Behavioral.
Some people are just not comfortable with numbers. But for most people, the numbers end up as just the starting point. Maintaining the focus and discipline to develop and stick to a plan over the long term is the real challenge. I frequently use the analogy of maintaining a healthy weight and diet (something I have struggled with over my lifetime) to financial planning: they both require sustained focus and discipline over an extended period of time.
It is Rewarding.
I get to help people meet some of their most important life goals. I feel very privileged to be in relationships where people are comfortable discussing some of their most heart-felt values and goals. It is an honor to help them address them.
It is Hard.
If you consider all the previous challenges listed, then add a nice helping of complex math (which some people will walk miles to avoid), you have the recipe for overload. Personal finance never stops, goals are constantly changing and life throws lots of curve balls. Addressing your financial issues head on is often daunting. But once people work through building and implementing plans, I find that they feel much more comfortable.
Once again I wanted to say thank you. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last five years and I’m looking forward to the next five (or ten or twenty).
Brian McCann, CFP®
Note: The contents of this site are general in nature and not intended as specific investment advice. All investments are subject to risk; including loss of investment value. If you have any question regarding investments or concepts in these pages, please consult with an investment professional.