Staying Positive: What is Your Why?

This has been a trying time for everyone, and it is easy to give in to negative thoughts. They could be related to the markets, the current political and societal climates, the weighing concerns that you are doing the right things for your clients, your family and even yourself. 

Advisor “WHY’S” 

Finding your “WHY” has been a question plaguing many since the beginning of thought. Sure it is about life and what you are trying to achieve and your career is a big part of your life. You spend most of your waking hours in that role. Are you in this business just to make a living? Do you really want to help people? Or do you just love the thrill of the markets? Or maybe you are just a great teacher which helps you convert new clients. Whatever it is, you need to firmly affirm why you are in this industry. 

More than One Focus

As advisors you have to be in a few businesses. One is obvious, the advice business. The others range from psychologists for your clients, yourself, and add in sales, marketing, research, networking and many more. 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Because That’s Life)

Many advisors often struggle with worrying about the markets not only for their livelihood, but their own nest egg. Are you doing the right thing for yourself? 

There is much research that points to feeling positive about yourself, your self talk can dictate your attitude. You can actually become the way you think. If that is positive then you are perceived as positive. But the opposite is true as well. No one wants to be associated with a negative person much less have them as an advisor. Take some time off, travel, relax and unplug once in a while. We are complex beings who work in a complex world, things will get out of whack, so don’t worry so much. It is just the way things are. That’s life.  

Self Check 

Do a quick look at your own future. Take your own risk tolerance test, review your own portfolio and create a proposal for yourself. Look at your portfolio. Would you recommend your portfolio to a client? You may fall into the trap that sounds like this, “I can’t afford to take too much risk since my livelihood depends on my AUM and quarterly fee.” So if they both go down like they did in March and your nest egg gets dented, it can be an emotional event. But if you can’t eat your own cooking that could be a mental block in your business. 

Portfolio “WHY’S” 

Why is this portfolio in place? Do you have multiple portfolio “Why’s”? That’s OK as well. Some are for income, some are for growth, some are pure speculation, some a long term and some are short term. As long as the “WHY” is identified then the playbook of what to do when _______ (fill in the blank) occurs is very clear. When the unexpected occurs you should be able to turn to the playbook and adjust. It is important to remember that things will change. The minute a financial plan is completed, things change. That is the nature of markets. You can adjust the risk levels as things change. It’s OK to look back and say, “I got this wrong.” That might sound negative, but it is really a positive thing if you think about it. This is as transparent as it gets. Clients are human and can understand those things happen. Perhaps, even setting expectations that things may not go as planned  at the beginning of the relationship is a good idea. 

Why You do What You Do

Remind yourself once in a while of why you are in your role. If you haven’t figured it out, you must. We all want a better life, better outcomes and better opportunities for our clients, ourselves, and our families. If you can sum it up into a statement, a statement of affirmation, I would suggest you print it out and tape it up in place where you can see it daily to remind yourself of your “WHY.”  

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Pete Carmasino is Managing Director at PortfolioWise, an ETF ratings system powered by Chaikin Analytics. Pete has over 25 years in the capital markets industry. He previously ran his own RIA firm for several years where he created his own ETF model strategy. In prior roles, Pete was a High Net Worth Advisor and Institutional Sales Trader.

Follow Pete on Twitter @carmasino

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