LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
Mind What Matters… Focus Efforts On What You Can Control
JUSTIN VOSSEN, INVESTMENT ADVISER & PRINCIPAL
PUBLISHED: MAY 22, 2014
You may have heard our brand promise at Lutz Financial: “Mind What Matters”. While catchy and cute in the marketing sense, it is also very consistent with our approach in working with clients on a daily basis. We spend time working on the unique issues clients have that “matter” to them. Certain things that matter to a client cannot be controlled, thus you should focus your limited time and energy on those issues that can be impacted.
Things That Matter
Most of us share a handful of common issues that matter to us all. Family, friends, faith, and country are things we all care about in varying degrees and prioritization. Another common topic that can weigh heavily on our minds is our financial well being. Our financial resources provide us with a sense of independence, as well as give us the ability to influence a variety of aspirations.
Global issues matter to us as well. The digital age accompanied with the rapid movement of information keeps us more informed on world events now more than ever. Whether it be politics or poverty, human rights or animal rights, economics or ecology, many of us have special issues that matter to us. While we can hold many of these things close to our hearts, our influence over these things is limited, at best.
Obviously there are things specific to your own situation that matter as well. Maybe it is a charity, future accomplishment, political goals, our local sports team, classic automobiles, traveling, education, legacies, businesses, or hobbies? These are some of the many examples of things that may be important to you based on your individual upbringing or interests.
Avoiding Things That You Can’t Control
It’s clear that we cannot control such things as the weather, random strangers’ actions, and the outcome to sporting events (legally!). It is an inherent characteristic to want control of a situation; however it is much more difficult for us to admit that we cannot completely govern things like our kids, our business associates and clients, our politicians and even our future. If we think we control all of these, it’s probably a combination of hubris and/or overconfidence.
What You Should Focus On
Time is a precious resource, and focusing time on things that can be controlled is the greatest use of that resource. Formulating a plan on tangible items and establishing a timeline on when to complete each task are critical. This process will cut down on needless time, worry and even expense trying to fix the things beyond our control.
How does this translate to our financial lives? Wall Street, Hollywood and the media have portrayed investing as a modern day treasure hunt. Because of this, the investment industry spends most of its time forecasting future results, predicting economic and political events, and trying to move client assets to the “next best thing”. It’s their hubris and overconfidence in believing they can predict the market’s performance. They use this forecasting ability as the primary reason that one should put their trust and ultimately their money with them.
Instead, it is important that you spend energy focusing on the things that matter which we can be controlled or influenced.
- There is no question the markets matter, but we need to focus on our reactions to the markets, instead of the markets themselves.
- Our kids matter to us, but we can’t control how they spend their money as adults. However, we can ensure how much inheritance they get and when they get it.
- We can’t control who is going to be president in the next election, but we can control the tax efficiency of our assets and allocation to minimize current and future taxes.
- Our businesses are important, but are we doing everything we can to mitigate controllable risk?
- The economy is very relevant to our lives. But isn’t being prepared for the inevitable temporary pullback more important than the timing of said pullback?
These are just a few examples in our lives where overlap occurs between the things that matter and the things we can control. Focusing our time and energy to prepare for these things will help insulate us from uncontrollable noise that distracts us. Most importantly, it will reduce our stress and help us prioritize the things that matter most and formulate a plan to protect them!
Important Disclosure Information
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Lutz Financial), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Lutz Financial. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Lutz Financial is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Lutz Financial’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JUSTIN VOSSEN, CFP® + INVESTMENT ADVISOR, PRINCIPAL
Justin Vossen is an Investment Advisor and Principal at Lutz Financial. With 21+ years of relevant experience, he specializes in providing wealth management and financial planning services for high net-worth families, business owners in transition, endowments and foundations. He lives in Omaha, NE, with his wife Nicole, and children Max and Kate.
AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
- Financial Planning Association, Member
- BSBA in Economics and Finance, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
- St. Augustine Indian Mission, Board Member
- Nebraska Elementary and Secondary School Finance Authority, Board Member
- St. Patrick's Church, Trustee
- Mount Michael Booster Club Board
- Lutz Gives Back, Committee Chair
- March of Dimes Nebraska, Past Board Member
- Creating an Investment Policy for a Nonprofit Organization
- Nobody Talks About Rick Anymore?
- The Current Financial Health of the American Consumer
- A 100-Year Bet Gone Bad
- Personal Finances: Focusing on What You Can Control
- Planning for College Pragmatically
- Remaining Calm When Uncertainty Surrounds Us
- Am I Ready to Retire? Finding Your Sweet Spot
- 5 Retirement Strategies for Small Business Owners
- Outsmarting the Ivy League?
- An Investor's Year-End Wrap Up & Tax Prep
- Nobody Knows Anything
- Add "Brexit" to the Long List of Uncertainty
- Financial Planning for College Grads
- Fight or Flight - Lesson Learned
- Social Security: The New Rules
- Putting Volatility in Context
- The Asian and European Fronts
- Bubble Looming or a Bubble Popped
- Re-Emerging Markets?
- A Market Perspective
- Timing is Not Everything
- "Yellen" at the Fed
- Mind What Matters...Focus Efforts On What You Can Control
- What to do With a Financial Windfall
- Love Indexes - Hate the Indexes
- Do I Own a Market?
- A Practical Primer On Volatility
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