As the traditional summer wedding season winds down, I still have a co-worker’s wedding fresh in my mind. The wedding day is just the beginning of the journey of marriage and the vows are a great reminder of all the things you sign up for! As my wife could attest, I’m not the best person to dole out marital advice, but what would happen if we implemented some of the foundational values that strengthen a marriage to other relationships in our lives? Specifically when you look at professional relationships you have with co-workers, CPAs, attorneys, or financial advisors there are some parallels that can help you find success.
Do your due diligence - See if your advisor (or spouse) is a good fit before you walk down the aisle so you aren’t hearing Vince Vaughn coughing “don’t do it” like he did in the movie Old School. Knowing what is important to the other person and having them understand what you are looking for, sets you on a path for a mutually beneficial partnership.
Communicate - No matter how solid your foundation is or how compatible you are, there will inevitably be bumps in the road. How you address them and move past issues that arise can give both parties clarity to stay on the same page. Conversely if you let issues fester, it can make small issues much bigger down the road. Think of following the old adage “never go to bed angry!”
Through good times and bad – Going through the first two steps will go a long way toward working through tough times that are inevitable as you go through life. With a financial advisor, there will always be good years and bad years as an investor. Circumstances out of your control will affect your tax and/or estate situation and bring out a lot of emotions (like you see throughout a marriage!).
Not necessarily ‘til death do us part – Although it may be intimidating when you’ve had a long-term relationship with an advisor, if you take a hard look and determine you have irreconcilable differences, it may be best to move on.
Hopefully you are able to find those special someones in your personal and professional relationships. Look around for examples of what you perceive as a good marriage and ask how it has been successful. Do the same with people who have had long-term professional relationships. When you are able to find happiness in your relationships, it will spill over to other areas of your life.
That reminds me, happy anniversary mom and dad!