I coached Little League softball for young girls for a little over a decade in Allendale, NJ. I can still remember little Susie when she was nine years old and began playing softball for the first time. She was nervous and the uniform was always a little too big on her.
She would roll up her pants at the waist in order to have it fit a little bit better. She was unsure what she should do, but eventually with coaching and some practice, she was able to move forward and eventually was able to throw, catch, and hit the ball during practices.
So, one game after many unsuccessful attempts to hit the ball while up at bat, she makes solid contact and hits a line drive up the middle – through the infield -making it what surely would become her first hit. To my surprise and her severe disappointment, she begins to run toward me. But… I was the third-base coach. [highlight]Susie was running toward the wrong base.[/highlight]
Unfortunately, by the time she corrected her direction the other team was able to gather the ball and throw the ball to first base for an out. Susie began to cry. I spoke to her to let her know that she had accomplished the hardest part of the game – making contact with the pitch – and that she would never make that mistake again. Which she never did. Susie made solid contact throughout the rest of the season – and always remembered to run to first base.
Weeks after the initial running mistake, a prospect was in my office speaking about their personal situation. They had unfortunately done the equivalent of running to third base after hitting the ball with their financial affairs. It seems they had gotten scared during the market decline at the beginning of 2009 which was natural, but they had let their emotions overwhelm them to the point that they acted upon the fear and changed their portfolio allocation to mostly cash where it remained until we met. We helped them make corrective actions to their “running error”.
I then realized that my after work activity is very similar to my activities during the day. In both cases – my job was to help individuals achieve their goals by helping them understand what needed to be done and supporting them to accomplish their goals by providing guidance, understanding and clarity. Thus the term of “financial coaches” was born.
Just as I was able to work with Susie so she never did run to third base again out of the batters box, I am able to help correct mistakes made by individuals before they came to me and more importantly, help them avoid those common mistakes which prevent them from getting their successful “hits”. With investments, emotions sometimes cause people to make inappropriate decisions.
A financial coach helps put the current environment in prospective to guide them to their ultimate goals. If you are making the same mistakes over and over again, maybe it’s time to seek the help of a competent financial planner so you can stop running to third base.
We strive to be the calm reasoning of a seasoned coach for our clients. The plans we develop with our clients incorporate the fact that investment volatility is the reality to face in order to reach most of one’s goals. Together, we coach and prepare our clients for this reality.
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