It’s All About Perspective

So it is March in Minnesota, which means one day its sunny and 50, the next day is foggy and 34, and 3 days later its 12 with blizzard-like conditions. We love to “talk” about the weather in the Twin Cities, and when I say “talk” I really mean “complain.” How else could we get through harsh winters, especially the one we are currently finishing. Whenever something in my life is not fun, I complain to get through it. I did it all those years in swimming. I didn’t mind the workouts. No, I wouldn’t choose to do them for fun on a Saturday night, but they made me a better athlete. Just because they made me better didn’t mean I couldn’t complain though. For me, the complaining helped me get through it, it was my coping mechanism. I would dread the workout leading up, complain myself through it, and then feel really good about what I had just accomplished once it was over. There was no better feeling than getting out of the pool after a miserably long 2 hour workout that left you physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Maybe my method of coping isn’t what you would do, but it worked for me.

Back to the weather though, we Minnesotans like to complain about it because I believe it helps us get through it. We love all four seasons up here, we just wish the one that goes from November through February was a touch shorter. I do love March though! Just the other day it was 35 and sunny, I was with the kids in the car and we had the sun roof open. It was almost below freezing and the sun roof was open. Those of you that know me, you know that I grew south of the Mason/Dixon Line, so 35 degrees during my childhood was FREEZING!!! But it’s all about perspective. When you live in Minnesota and have endured sub zero temperatures for a week straight, 35 degrees feels warm. But if you live in San Diego and you are used to 72 and sun everyday, the drop to the 30’s would send a shock through your system.

Your perspective affects everything in life. Think about sports. My favorite baseball team, the Atlanta Braves, made the playoffs every year from 5th grade until after I graduated from college. At first, it was thrilling each year, because it was new, but after a while, the playoffs got a bit stale. Now, it may have had something to do with our team always finding a way to not win the World Series (except in 1995 when they beat the Cleveland Indians in 6 games for our first ever World Series Championship), but I also think it had to do with our perspective. We were used to them making the playoffs, we kind of expected it, so we weren’t that excited about it. This past year, after a significant number of years not making the playoffs, the Braves won their division and advanced to the next round. From what I could see and what I was told, the fans were much more into it, because the perspective had changed. They weren’t used to it and it had become new again.

The same goes in my profession. I could have one client who is happy about a 6% rate of return and another who thinks its terrible. This is because of a difference of perspectives. Maybe one client is 65 and retired, while the other is 35 and in prime working years. Maybe one is more risk averse, while the other is a risk seeker. There are a million different reason why people could have a different perspective when it comes to finances, but its my job to help figure those out. There is no “one size fits all” approach to helping managing clients’ money. Each person/couple/family needs a strategy that is unique and customized to their goals, objectives, risk tolerance, etc. Anyone out there who tells you otherwise does not have your best interest at heart.

Maybe you have a plan that is customized to you, that is awesome. But you could be reading this and wondering if your current plan is what you should be doing, or maybe you’re just following along with the status quo. What does it hurt to find out more? Contact me today and we can chat further. Maybe we’ll discuss some changes. At the very least you can get some confirmation that you are doing the right things and then we can get back to complaining about the weather!

Broker Check Logo