by Joshua Mudse, CFP
With the record setting release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jedi fever has never been so popular. Excerpted from Ryan Neal at WealthManagement.com, here are Six Star Wars lessons for choosing your financial planner:
1. Strength in Diversity
Star Wars has always been about a diverse rebellion fighting against an oppressive Empire that enslaves alien races, but the new generation of movies embraces diversity more than ever to appeal to moviegoers. The main protagonists in 2015’s “The Force Awakens” and this year’s “Rogue One” are females, and “Rogue One” features an ensemble cast of varying ethnic backgrounds working together to fight the Empire. Investment portfolios have long reaped the benefits in diversifying assets.
2. The Power of Holistic Planning
As young Skywalker’s advisor, Obi Wan Kenobi teaches him that the Force, an energy field created by all living things that binds the galaxy together, is the source of his power. Your advisor needs to have a holistic view of your financial life, as well as a mastery of investment strategy. By understanding how various accounts, needs and goals all connect together, an advisor can be a truly powerful guide.
3. Sticking to the Plan
While Luke is a neophyte just learning the ways of the Force, Han Solo is a hardened skeptic, disregarding advisors like Obi Wan Kenobi and instead preferring the lifestyle of a risk taker, which has led him to real problems with debt. When Luke gets distracted by Solo’s taunts, Kenobi reminds him to trust in his plan instead of making knee-jerk reactions. While things get rocky along the way, Luke eventually reaches his goal of becoming a Jedi Knight. It’s a good reminder for when the markets get rough: Trust in the plan, mitigate short-term emotional reactions, and focus on long-term goals. Han may call it luck, but good advisors know there’s no such thing.
4. The Quick and Easy Path Leads to the Dark Side
We learn more about the Force in the 1980s' “Empire Strikes Back,” when Jedi master Yoda teaches Luke about the Dark Side. Like a good advisor, he tells Luke that chasing instant gratification, like investing heavily in a hot stock, can lead to ruin. When Luke ignores the advice, he’s almost defeated by Darth Vader. Yoda reminds us that patience is key with investing, not adventure or excitement.
5. Work with a Fiduciary
Along with Yoda’s warning about the quick, easy and seductive dark side, the heroes of Star Wars are frequently working not just for themselves, but in the best interest of the galaxy. Finn abandons The New Order after he’s asked to attack innocent villagers and uses his knowledge to aid The Resistance. And General Leia (no longer a princess), forms The Resistance when The New Republic won’t give her the support she needs because she knows opposing Kylo Ren and Snoke is in the best interest of the galaxy. Good advisors want to keep the trust of their client, putting the client needs ahead of their own.
6. It’s Not Just About Money
Though Han Solo told Princess Leia that he doesn’t care about her or the rebellion, he becomes a true hero after he realizes that there’s more to life than money. Advisors are worth more than just allocating assets and providing returns; they can be even more valuable by helping navigate important milestones in life, like buying a home, sending kids to college and retiring comfortably. Remember what Leia told Han: “If money is all that you love, then that’s what you’ll receive.”