I wish I kept some kind of count as to how many people I’ve talked to over the past nearly 33 years.
I know it’s in the thousands for sure.
What is interesting is that even though there are some common themes, frustrations, goals and objectives, that run through people’s financial situations, everyone is just a bit different.
I realized early on that there is no such thing as cookie cutter financial planning.
Because I work all over the country it’s even more interesting to hear about how people live in different states, different environments, different weather conditions, different careers, different incomes, different family sizes, age, health, interests, hobbies, and the list goes on.
So, let me tell you a story about a Cherry Tree.
There was a real estate agent who had been showing a particular home several times. It was a nice home, but no one seemed to want to pull the trigger on buying it.
After showing for what seemed to be the 100th time he was talking on the phone with a couple who were interested in looking at it as well.
In getting to know them a bit better before they met, the wife had mentioned how she was going to miss her old home with the mature trees and beautiful spring as her trees blossomed.
She really loved her yard, but it was getting too much for them which is why they were moving.
The real estate agent hadn’t really thought much about this before, but after she mentioned that he remembered that this home had this strikingly beautiful tree in the backyard.
It was a Japanese Cherry Blossom Tree. Have you ever seen one?
Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees as a gift to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the nations’ then-growing friendship.
They are beautiful tree when in full blossom.
So, the agent met this couple at the home.
But this time, instead of going inside right away, the agent had the couple look through the front door glass which looked all the way through the home and out the back window where stood this beautiful blossoming tree.
The wife practically gasped at the site.
Oh, look at that tree, she said to her husband, it’s simply gorgeous.
As they toured the home the agent pointed out several locations where the tree could be enjoyed.
One from the kitchen window, one from the office, and one from a large window over the bathtub in the master bedroom.
That was it, the house was fine for its size, and location, but the tree took them over the edge and they bought the home.
Now you might be thinking, why is Dan telling us this story about Japanese Cherry Blossom trees?
Well, for a couple of reasons.
Often times it’s what something does for us that is more important than its name or it’s features.
As you look at investments, you should look at that investment from the perspective of what an investment can do for you, not so much what the investment is.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard something to the effect of, “Oh, we can’t look at _______ we heard those are bad.”
Fill in the blank….
Or “that ___________ investment isn’t for us; our friends have one and they say to stay away from those.”
That may be true. You see, often times advisor sells something and have no idea if that’s your cherry tree or not.
It may be a great investment, for some, but if it doesn’t fit you or your objectives, that can be a miserable place to put your money.
In this case, the Cherry Tree is what made them happy, not so much the layout of the garage (which may have been a selling point for the husband right?) or the color of the paint.
I find that some people want a particular investment because they think that’s what they are supposed to have and avoid another particular investment because they heard or read something negative about it.
I can assure you this. In the technology and information world we live in, you’ll find both good and bad about every investment you can think of.
What we all have to do is find our Cherry Tree. That takes whatever investment we end up with, a good fit.
What makes you really happy with an investment?
Will it be because it has growth potential?
Will it be because it is safe and you can’t lose money?
Will it be because it has tax-advantages?
Will it be because it provides a lifetime of income that you can’t outlive?
Will it be because you want to have access to it, so you can buy a business or invest in an opportunity?
Will it be because you simply want to retire, never worry about money again, and know it’s going to last you the rest of your life?
See everyone has a different cherry tree…..what may be great for one, may not be so much for another.
So, what’s your Cherry Tree?
If you could design a product or investment that you think would work best for your situation, what would that look like?
Would you put the emphasis on safety, growth, income, tax-advantages, liquidity?
It’s my job to talk to you, to find out what your cherry tree is and then to match up the most appropriate savings or investments that fit.
You know, what is interesting is, after all these decades in the business, there really is no such thing as the perfect investment.
I mean everything has a give and take to it.
What makes it close to perfect for you is when the investment meets as many of your objectives as possible – no matter what it’s called.
That means we found your Cherry Tree.
And by the way, you can have a few Cherry Trees, each with different objectives, and that’s fine too.
Some money for this tree and some for that tree….if that’s what works – great!
The main thing is quit thinking this investment is good or this investment is bad because you know someone who said it was bad or you heard someone at work rave about it.
Well, that’s it for this podcast.
This was a great topic and I hope you caught a glimpse of what you really need to do to be a happy camper with your investments.
Find what matches you best, and you found your Cherry Tree.
As always, if you have any question, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’d like to take advantage of our free strategy session where you can ask questions and get a better feel for how we do things, maybe even find you a Cherry Tree or two, feel free to request that in your email as well.
I’ll try to answer your questions as quick as I can and maybe even use them on a future episode if it’s a question that a lot of people are wondering about….
Well, until next time….take care!