Financial Blame Game

Have you ever had financial trouble? And we’re not just talking about the direst of situations like going bankrupt. Do you think a divorce is to blame for messing up your finances? Do you tend to think the system is rigged against the little guy? Did a former broker “do you wrong”? On today’s podcast, we’ll look at some of the common things that people might blame for their financial planning troubles. See if you identify with one of these. Are you pointing your finger in the right direction?


John Stillman: You're listening to Wright Money Tips with Isaac Wright, the President of Financial Dynamics and Associates. He's a chartered financial consultant and the author of Navigate Your Way to a Secure Retirement. Isaac, always a pleasure to talk with you. How are you this week?

Isaac Wright: I'm good, John. Looking forward to... I know we're getting really close now to the holidays. I don't even know where the year's been man, but I'll tell you what, it'll be full on holiday mode coming up in a few weeks.

John: You say you don't know where this year has been. Did anything happen in the Wright household this year that has made things a little foggy for you?

Isaac: January 4th all the way through the end of this year, we've had the pleasant company of a baby girl. And she is a peach, man, but I'll tell you, it's taken almost all this year to get sleep schedule-wise, back under to somewhat, let's call it the usual customary few hours of sleep. But it's been a good year, man. I can't complain.

John: Just as soon as she really starts sleeping well, when she's two or three, then you'll have a teenager, at the other end, so life is good.

Isaac: Yes sir.

John: No, you're only 20 years from college, so it's all right. You'll get to see the wife again soon. If you'd like to get in touch with the team at Financial Dynamics, you can call or text, whichever you prefer. The number is 804-777-9999. Now you say that number can't possibly be that easy, that sounds like a fake number? No, no. No, we got ahold of this number in what, the late eighties, Isaac?

Isaac: It's been awhile.

John: Yeah. 804-777-9999. Good luck trying to get a number that good in 2019. Today, if this show doesn't go well, Isaac, it's your fault, I blame you. Because today we're playing the Financial Blame Game. So we're going to talk about some of the things that people might blame their financial troubles on. And I want you to maybe give me an example of a time where you heard people pointing fingers in one of these ways. Are those fingers being pointed in the right direction or do the fingers need to be pointed somewhere else? For instance, you might hear somebody say, "Well, my divorce really messed me up financially."

Isaac: Let me say this John, before I answer that, I think the main thing I want people to realize is we want you to be in a positive mindset, and granted we all have setbacks in life and I think sometimes even though rightfully, we may be able to say and blame a certain situation that's caused us to have that step back, we still need to be diligent about how we control our emotions, how we control our ability to be able to manage the money that we do have, based upon some of the things we'll cover today. So if a divorce has messed you up financially and very well that may have been the case. They're still, in my opinion, I think room for being able to reevaluate if this means you may have to work a little bit longer. If you have to be able to take on a little bit more in terms of the workload that you have in your current job, you may have to well maybe reevaluate your lifestyle expenses and it doesn't mean that you haven't taken a step back.

Isaac: I think sometimes you just have to understand that if you take a step back, it doesn't mean your life is at an end point. It's almost, you have to reevaluate your goals. You may also have to reevaluate what I would call is the reality towards things that you want to accomplish and then you have a chance to kind of find solid footing again and that's the problem I find when I hear that is my divorce really messed me up financially. Yeah, based upon what you had in your head at the time you were married or at the time you were going through a different life situation.

Isaac: So please note that this is not anything other than just a good positive mindset to say, "Hey listen, I understand I've been knocked down, maybe have a setback here, but I want to be in a place where I can still take control of my own personal affairs. I mean, I can't control anybody around me, but I can try to control how I feel and how I want to be able to lay out maybe some updates towards, you know, this new phase in life." So I hope knowing this, because I've had this conversation many times with clients over 20 plus years that I find that that's a whole lot more healthy longterm way to go about doing it.

John: Next up on the Financial Blame Game is blaming the financial professionals in your past. My broker, my old broker did me wrong.

Isaac: Yeah, well when you hear that, and of course I've heard that many times over the years too, sometimes and maybe the broker quite frankly, didn't mean to do you wrong. It's just something that happened arbitrarily or maybe outright, the broker did do you wrong. But either way, you need to be in a place again to say, "Listen, I'm not going to sit there and have that pigeonhole me or stereotype anybody in the future that I need guidance from, counseling from, financial advice from," because for every one of those people, there's many good people. I have many friends right here in our community that are financial planners that do a good job that I think are good folks. You're going to deal sometimes with the occasional bad apple and I don't care what industry you're in, but again, if you want to let that grind you down and just basically say, "I'm not going to require anybody's help."

Isaac: Maybe on the flip side of this, maybe what you want to consider is what kind of process is that person using to help you make decisions? Have they taken the ability in the, let's call it the kind of the insight of knowing you to a degree where they can offer you recommendations. And I think that was a problem back 15, 20 years ago. And even some respects, it's still out there, but not as bad, is people just really look at a financial advisor as nothing more than a investment salesperson. And that's now really I think being changed in our industry pretty heavily.

Isaac: So again, don't look at it as what happened 10, 20 years ago as something that maybe very well never happens again and you're sitting there hurting yourself by not asking for help. So again, if you need any help, if you have any of these situations, you're welcome to call me directly. Talk to us here at our office at 804-777-9999, because I don't like... I just don't like seeing people in a negative place. I like to see people positive and a good attitude. I know life comes and goes and you can be in a good or bad attitude, but I'm talking about more consistently having a positive mindset and a positive outlook and that is something that I've always tried to keep in my own head. So I'm not trying to judge, I'm just trying to say, "Hey listen, if you would like to have a conversation about any of this, we definitely can be here to help assist."

John: So some people blame the ex, some blame the old financial advisor. Some people blame the system, Isaac, the system is rigged.

Isaac: The system, let's put the system on trial.

John: Wall Street always wins, the little guy can't win.

Isaac: Yeah. Well here's the thing. Maybe the system is rigged a little bit. I mean let's go ahead and play devil's advocate here, but it doesn't mean that you still can't participate in the opportunities today with, let's call it the amount of information out there today. Now recently, you can now go on accounts like Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade. There's no cost to trading anymore. So you don't have to worry about commissions when you trade equities. So the compression of what I call the people that are allegedly behind the curtain versus the ones that are in front of it, I think is becoming squeezed, if there ever was that. And I think too, you need to be able to have a good financial advisor that understands how to play the game a little bit and make sure that you're arranging a portfolio that is in line with your goals.

Isaac: And so Wall Street may be rigged. That doesn't mean that you don't build a portfolio out with investments of solid companies and looking at how to generate income and how to take risk to a manageable degree off the table if that's what's going to be required to get you through a successful retirement, let's call it. So don't think just because a system is rigged that you can't make any money or that I'm just going to put it... Oh, I mean, I guess where would you put the money anyway? What are you going to just put it in the mattress? I mean if you want to go down the pigeon hole of being paranoid, all of a sudden you look back and you're like, "Man you know, really was it all that worth it to be that scared in the first place?" So I think you just need to address some of these outright and know that you may want to have some money in the market. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. And again, just try to keep a better attitude with this.

John: So don't be that person that puts money in your mattress unless it's a Casper mattress. Get a better night's sleep than you... I'm just kidding. We don't have any sponsors on this program, but one day, one day we will. All right, last thing on the Financial blame Game. Isaac, not the ex, not the advisor, not the system, it's the kids. My kids have had trouble finding good jobs since they finished school, so I've been helping them out for years.

Isaac: Yeah. That's sometimes maybe in some respects the toughest because you want to be there for your kids. You want to be there to help support them with legitimate needs versus enabling them to be lazy and welcome to that seesaw of activity. But I do think that these are all things that to some degree, and I'm not going to sit here and preach, I just want to know that... I want you to know that in some respects all of these things can be blamed and to some degree, it's about how your attitude is going to adjust to them. So maybe you have to create a budget where you have to put a line in the sand of how much money you can actually help each child with financially. Or is there other things you can do to help assist that child?Maybe find him or her, maybe the ability for connections that you have with a part time job or there's ways to be of assistance without being quote the enabler.

Isaac: So these four things today, I'm glad you brought them up this way, John. But for all of you listening today, just know that some of these things come up quite frankly more than you would want to know when we're developing a financial plan for a family because these are all things that are pretty commonplace. You may not think you're the only one dealing with it, but this again is pretty common. Making sure that we create what I would call a line in the sand towards certain things that can come up from what we've covered today. And again, if you need any help, whether it's myself, if you have an advisor already, just these are the kinds of conversations you need to be having to make sure that you're in a good mental space with all this. So John, thank you so much for bringing it up in this format, man.

John: Absolutely. And if you don't reach out to the team at Financial Dynamics and something goes wrong, guess what? You have nobody to blame but yourself. So reach out now, 804-777-9999 call or text if you'd like to have a chat with Isaac or somebody at Financial Dynamics, 804-777-9999. This has been Wright Money Tips, Isaac Wright, Chartered Financial Consultant, and the President of Financial Dynamics and Associates. We'll talk to you soon, have a great day.

Announcer: Information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute tax investment or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified investment, legal or tax professional before taking any action.

Announcer: Advisory services offered through JW Cole Advisors, Inc. JWCA. Financial Dynamics and Associates, Inc. and JWCA are unaffiliated entities.