Financial Planning: As Easy as Riding a Bike
23 Jun 2017
With the end of school, our family has had much more time to spend outside. My daughter in particular has had time to work on her bike riding skills. Helping her through this process, it strikes me that it is similar to financial planning for many people.
I told my daughter it was time for her to ride without training wheels. Her excitement showed in her voice and on her face! We have a Third Wheel that I can hook up to my bike. It has a seat and handle bars like a standard bike, so she was fairly confident that she knew what she was doing. I mean, she had experience! She had ridden on a bike without training wheels before. It didn’t matter that it was someone else balancing. She knew what she was doing. She kept bragging to my wife all about where she was going to go riding. The more she talked, the more spectacular the ride was going to be!
We took off the training wheels, and she got on for the first time. Her face was determined as she wobbled while mounting on the seat. Her helmet fell down slightly, so she took a moment to adjust it. After double checking her knee and elbow pads were facing the right direction, she was ready. She lifted her feet off, and promptly crashed to the ground!
As most of you who have gone through this know, she immediately asked for her training wheels back. She was devastated. Her plan had not worked out to perfection. This isn’t going to be as easy as she thought it would. Her reaction was to immediately go back to her comfort zone.
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My daughter’s first experience with riding her bike without training wheels is very similar to that of someone going through the financial planing process the first time. Initially, there is excitement. Most individuals have some sort of experience or exposure to someone who has had a lot of success. They can’t wait to get started on this new leg of their journey. Even going through the planning process initially, the excitement is palpable.
One of the first roadblocks that you might face is not knowing where to begin. At this point, you have two choices. The first is to throw up your hands, admit defeat, and return to the way things were. This is exactly the initial reaction that kids have the first time they crash and burn on their bicycle. The second option is to keep pressing forward. The role of the financial advisor is to help break through that initial roadblock, and help you keep pressing forward. After that, it is continuing to act as a guide, helping you develop a plan that will allow you to reach your individual goals.
Like learning to ride a bike, a successful financial plan will require diligence and patience. Perfection from the beginning is not the expectation. If you don’t know where to get started, give us a call. That is what we do. It’s as easy as riding a bike!
Today is the day, make it count.