Have you been paying attention to all the car company recalls the past few weeks? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, close to 90% of Americans use motor vehicles as their primary mode of transportation1. So itís no wonder that this has been big news. We trust that our daily commutes will be made safe by the designs of the vehicles we drive, and by the equipment used to construct them. To hear that safety may be compromised because something hasnít worked out the way it was intended is a bit alarming. Yet, these car companies raised their hands and admitted they need to fix their mistakes. Thereís an important lesson in this.
Iíd venture to guess that a recall costs the company money. Although necessary, itís the equivalent of ďtaking one step back to take two steps forward.Ē And isnít that the most important thing? Whatever the task, we can practice it. We can do numerous tests to confirm functionality. We can crunch the numbers over and over again to ensure accuracy. But mistakes still happen. What needs to happen next, is admitting and fixing the mistake.
Yes, the concept is very basic. But think about your own life. Isnít admitting a mistake and trying to fix it easier said than done? What financial decision have you made recently that just didnít work out? Did you ďmake a recallĒ? Or are you still sweeping it under the rug? None of us like admitting a mistake. Many times we arenít sure how to fix it. But we all have moments when a recall is necessary.
I continue to preach to my clients the importance of partnership and education. My job is to help list resources and align them with goals. My clients and I, as a team, make the best decisions we can, based on the information we have and the assumptions we are all comfortable using. Then, change occurs. The markets change, economies change, our lives constantly change. What we thought would be, isnít what happens. So we need to issue a recall.
We owe it to our goals to reassess, and make the changes necessary. Yes, even if it means first taking a step back. Donít beat yourself up. Often times, we donít intentionally make mistakes. Sometimes things just donít work out. It could be a job loss. It could be a sickness or injury without adequate benefits. It could be a poor investment. And donít pretend that you ďshould have known better.Ē We canít predict the future and we certainly canít go back in time. Take a deep breath, take a step backÖand fix the problem.
Financial success is not a straight line. Nor is it always a forward momentum. Issue a recall, and recognize that you may need to do so again. Making mistakes isnít the real problem. Itís failing to admit to them and then fix them that can lead to bigger ones. So work with a CFPģ advisor. They can help recall, reassess, and move you forward again!
1- Source: 2005 estimates by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Benjamin N. Haas, CFPģ, CRPCģ, US Wealth Management. 158 West Main St., Kutztown. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.