Giant Sequoia (Sequoia gigantea). Cut from the Mark Twain Tree, which grew in the Kings River Grove, now part of the Kings Canyon National Park. Felled in 1891. At the American Museum of Natural History, New York
A couple years ago, when visiting my parents who live outside of New York City, we took the kids to the American Museum of Natural History. I had not been to the museum in a very long time and the experience was incredibly different now that I am no longer a child (from most accounts). Walking the halls with my own young children, it felt easier to appreciate the wonder and the progress as we moved from exhibit to exhibit. When we first came to this enormous cut of a Giant Sequoia, I remember thinking to myself, “What an absolute crime to chop down this tree.” I then made a joke about how whoever owned the land probably wanted a better view of the lake and for no better reason started hacking down these amazing trees. I felt better as I read on to learn that most of these trees started being protected by the Federal Government just a couple years after this one in front of me was cut down.
In the world of financial planning, your money is the Giant Sequoia and it needs protecting. Not a day goes by that I don’t see an advertisement for “Passive Income” and a sure fire way to make money in your sleep from “Real Estate Investing,” “Sell Your Course Online,” “Stock Picking – Finding the Next Amazon,” and the list goes on.
The problem only worsens when you realize that your money also needs protecting from…you! Life got busy and I forgot to cancel that trial of a computer coding program for kids (it was $8/month). Christmas is coming up and it has surely been a difficult and strange year. Am I less likely or more likely to unnecessarily spend on our children?
Unlike the Giant Sequoia, the government is not passing any all-encompassing legislation that is going to protect your money. It is my job, our job, to have a plan that is easily understood and reviewed often enough to adapt to new facts and new circumstances. In the absence of a crystal ball, planning is the best protection we have. Not to be too dramatic, but if I have any t-shirts made with a financial planning super hero logo, I’ll send out a separate email to collect orders and sizes. 😊
Happy Friday! Stay healthy and please be safe!
“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” -Walt Disney