Why is Abe Lincoln’s Axe Philosophy Important to Your Financial Strategy?

Why is Abe Lincoln’s Axe Philosophy Important to Your Financial Strategy?
03 Jul 2017

We love educating and inspiring people here at PII.  Through our retirement classes, multiple radio shows, and TV show, our advisors are getting questions and having conversations with 5 to 10 new people each week.  Here’s a sample of some of the questions we’re getting from people:

  • “I received a buy-out letter from our company pension, what should I do?”
  • “I’m retiring this year, when should I take Social Security?”
  • “Should we be doing anything different financially to get ready for retirement?”

I always like to answer these questions by borrowing a line from our company President Jeff Johnston: “If we work together over the next 20 years, let’s spend the time and prepare to get it right!”  Jeff is referring to our confidential “Premier Discovery Meeting.”  It’s a confidential meeting that collects all of your financial facts and personal goals.  This gets us prepared to draw up our initial “Premier Blue-Print” which is the first version of your financial plan.  Jeff doesn’t mind me borrowing this line, as I’m sure he borrowed it from Abe Lincoln! Honest Abe once said about preparation, “If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree I would spend the first 4 sharpening my axe!”

I also like the Aesop story of the goat and the fox entitled “Look Before You Leap!” I usually say on our AM600 radio show: “Having any financial strategy is better than having no strategy at all!”  Let’s look at an example of having no financial strategy.  I really like the 2012 TED talk by Professor Schlomo Bernartzi from the UCLA Anderson School of Management (available free on YouTube) Professor Bernartzi said that the average household spends $1,000 a year on lotteries.  He also asks the audience members, “How many of you spend $1,000 on lotteries?” No hands go up. He then adds, “That tells us that the people outside of this room are spending more than $1,000 to get the average to $1,000.” This is just one example of common money mismanagement among many Americans.

So, what’s your financial strategy? Are you spending most of your time sharpening the axe or are you still chopping at the tree?

Good Luck!



Jonas Everett

Jonas C. Everett is originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he still resides with his wife, JoDee, and daughters, Ella and Addison. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1993 where he majored in Communications. He has 22 years of experience in the investment industry and estate planning business. He is currently a Partner of “Premier Investments of Iowa, Inc.” Jonas is also the founder and creator of “Lighted Tunnel Succession Systems,” which can be found on www.lightedtunnel.com. The last 10 years, he has been in charge of mergers and acquisitions for Premier Investments of Iowa, Inc. In 2011, Jonas founded the National Association of Retired Insurance Agents, to help retiring insurance agents implement their own business succession plans. His main focus is Estate Planning and Investments for Retirees and Pre-Retirees, and he also specializes in Retirement Income. He is a speaker for the Cedar Rapids School Buddies Program for 5th and 6th Graders. In his free time he enjoys golf, reading, and spending time with family and friends.