One of the best shows on television over the past decade and a Crimmins household favorite is the “Dog Whisperer” with Cesar Milan. Cesar has an incredible way of training dogs. New episodes of the television show aired between 2004 and 2012, and the show can now be found in syndication.
Cesar found his current career and calling back when he was growing up helping on his grandfather’s farm in Mexico. He needed to be in tune with all of the various farm animals including dogs. He has stated that all animals have a way of dealing with life and the various issues, but dogs in particular look to be led by a human. He believed he would be able to come to United States and help aggressive dogs.
However, what he ultimately learned was in the vast majority of the cases, it was not the dog that needed assistance, but it was the owner’s behavior towards the dog. This was shocking at first for him but he has been able to help countless dog owners with the correct behavior for their precious family members.
Milan has said, “My goal in rehabilitating dogs and training people is to create balanced relationships between humans and canines”.
We believe we have a similar mission regarding people and their money. When I first came into this business I incorrectly believed that it was money and investment products that caused financial distress for many people. However, like Cesar, I too learned that it was – in most instances – human behavior that resulted in the missed opportunities and financial distress.
Early on in my career, I believed that if we just communicated the plan that individuals would be set on their journey. What I came to understand is that the most important aspect to successful investing is behavioral. Helping people continue to make the right decisions and more importantly avoid the bad decisions is the most important thing that we do as behavioral advisers.
Just like when Cesar meets with an owner of an aggressive dog, sometimes it takes time for individuals to accept that their behavior and actions have caused the results that they have achieved. As we all know, it’s easier to blame others (or in the case of investing “the lousy stock market”) for our inability to move forward towards our goals.
We take our behavior role seriously in trying to get our clients on track and helping them on their way to their individualized journey. The role requires that we develop trust with our clients, while working closely to keep them focused on their plan. This process is ongoing as life often gets complicated and there are many decisions that need to be made. Having a partner who works with you as a trusted coach/advisor is key to navigating the many years of financial planning that are necessary to ensure a successful journey.
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