My wife, Anne, recently returned home from a vacation in Morocco with her Mom. Several times during her trip, local merchants commented on how lucky she was to have been born in America. To which, of course, she agreed.

Have you ever noticed how easy it can be to take for granted some of the better things in our lives?

Being the beginning of a new year, this may be the perfect time to reflect on how great the financial services business is, think about how lucky you are to be in this business, and consider how to maximize the intrinsic value that exists in your own business and life.

This is a great business and it is a great time to be a financial advisor.

The reason I was attracted to this business when I was a young man beginning my career is because it meets what I call the "Big 3" criteria:
1. Money.
2. Time freedom.
3. Help people.
Let's consider these one at a time.

Money.  Within a few years, you can organize your business to have the right number of clients who pay you the right amount of money so your business generates all the money necessary to cover your business expenses, pay for your present personal lifestyle, get your own entire financial house in order, and provide enough money to save and invest to fund your future goals and personal lifestyle. Not all businesses or careers give you this degree of financial opportunity.

Time freedom. Within a few years of being a financial advisor, you can have the right number of clients, the right kind of clients, and the support team that allows you to deliver a very high-quality experience for your clients. You should be able to accomplish these things working 30 hours per week or less and taking eight to ten weeks of real vacation per year. Not all business or careers afford this level of time freedom.

Help people. Even at the most elemental level, financial advisors help people with basic financial planning, goal setting, investment management and insurance. At a higher level, a financial advisor can choose to do more comprehensive planning, assist with tax planning, estate planning and comprehensive insurance planning.

At an even deeper level, a financial advisor can choose to help people consolidate all of their financial affairs. These clients delegate this oversight to their financial advisor, who coordinates and simplifies everything so they are free from having to think about their money.

At every level, financial advisors help people make better choices so they have a higher probability of achieving their goals and fulfilling their values, thus making their lives better, especially during times like the past couple of years.

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