David Hemler, CFP®
Time does indeed fly, and as we get older in years, we might even say it speeds up. As I write this, it’s mid-October and the fall season has begun to show itself here in Carroll County and our surrounding communities. Things are very different this October than last, but regardless fall can be counted on to result in the same outcomes. The leaves will change color and fall from the trees, which is critical to their survival over the long winter months to come. As time marches on we are reminded of two old sayings, “The one thing we can always count on is change,” and “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Both are true.
Consider reading for example. At this stage of my life (fifty-seven years of age) I still prefer to buy the book rather than download it to a device. Not too long ago, I was very disappointed when a publication I thoroughly enjoyed and relied upon in my professional and personal pursuits stopped offering their print edition and forced subscribers to access their daily paper online. Something about holding that paper and flipping through the pages was comforting to me. I dropped my subscription. I have already spent a significant amount of my life, over a few decades now, in front of multiple computer screens while at work. The last thing I want to do in my leisure is read the paper on my tablet or laptop. Reading has changed considerably over the years, but it remains a vital way for us to digest information and stay informed, this will likely never change.
Financial advice is no different than reading in this regard. As much as lawmakers debate and technology evolves, personalized advice remains as critical as ever to helping people make important financial decisions. However, as much as things continue to change, our practice has stayed consistent with how we do business and make our recommendations. For example, all of the CFP® professionals at Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group continue to be held to the fiduciary standard in regards to all of our client interactions, not just retirement accounts, and we’ve been doing so long before the Department of Labor rule passed last year.
Technological advancements will likely continue to spur the world and humankind forward and at ever faster breakneck speeds. We have adapted by utilizing new methods of communicating including this blog. We even offer an online self-guided portfolio management tool, which is appealing to some of our clients. This is, mostly good, I think. But slowing down has merit too. As a financial planner, I need to understand you, your unique goals, your views, and your interests. This information helps me to formulate recommendations that are in your “best interest.” While some would prefer a quick call or email to gain this insight, I believe it requires face to face communication from time to time.
Call me odd if you will. I fully understand the convenience and progress technology provides and having five children, (between Elaine and I) who are all in their thirties; it’s easy to see how the generations think and behave differently. Our six grandchildren know better how to operate devices at age six or seven than I’m likely going to learn, EVER! Some days I wish we could just slow things down a bit, but this is not likely going to be something I get to have my way. When I talk with my mom and dad, who are 89 and 92 I can only imagine how things must feel to them when it comes to the speed of life today.
For those of you who are clients, I look forward to seeing you soon. For other friends and family, consider slowing things down just a little to get the help you need with that important financial decision or plans for your future!