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What Goldilocks and Ben-Hur Can Teach You About Managing Your Financial Resources

March 13, 2012
by Jack Reynolds

When I hear, “I don’t have enough time in the day to get all my things done,” I wonder, how can that be? We all have the same 24 hours, so there must be something else going on. Inevitably it has to do with prioritizing our time. People make time to do what they like, and we postpone or hand-off to others what we do not like to do. In my 2011 Wealth Assessment Survey, 50% of respondents said that they spend sufficient time managing their financial resources, including meetings with advisers. Interestingly, “sufficient time” ranged from 2 hours per week to 500 hours per month! Over one third of respondents felt they spend too little time managing their investments and 10% felt they spend too much time on this matter.

Determining the right amount of time to spend managing your financial resources is not unlike Goldilocks looking for the most comfortable chair or bed, because it is not a matter of hours, it is a matter of emotional comfort and well-being. Let me share with you suggestions for resolving the discomfort you may feel about dedicating sufficient time to managing your investment resources.

Frequently, investors who feel they spend insufficient time managing their investments would like to receive more assistance from their advisers, particularly in the form of decision-making support and improved coordination and communication among their advisers. If this type of assistance would be helpful to you, then first think about yourself as being part of your investment team. Then, select a role for yourself. Do you want to be the team owner, which has you up in the skybox with a key role in setting strategy? Do you want to be the head coach, which has you fully engaged all week long? Or do you want to be the quarterback, who is actually on the field and playing in the game? Based on my experience, you as the asset owner might reasonably prefer to adopt the role of team owner.

As the team owner in my analogy, you would be well-advised to have a good head coach. Do you have someone on your team now who has the skills, time, energy, bandwidth and interest to be your head coach? I refer to this job as analogous to playing the role of Ben Hur (see my brief video). Specifically, having the right person in this role will help you to:

  • extract maximum value from all of your advisers,
  • leverage their collective expertise, and
  • coordinate strategies across multiple disciplines.

The result? You will maintain control over your wealth management environment, gain fiduciary confidence and establish a sound, productive framework for achieving your long-term financial, investment and wealth management goals. In lieu of either Goldilocks or Ben Hur, you can learn more about how to manage your financial resources effectively by clicking here.