Father's Day 2003 has now come and gone. It is always a bittersweet time for me. Why? Because, on the one hand, I am blessed with one wife, five children, and eight grandchildren, so I get lots of phone calls from those out of town and lots of presents from those who live with and near me.
On the other hand, over the past five years, I lost my father, followed by my baby brother (at age 47) and then 18 months ago, my mother. With all uncles, aunts, and grandparents also gone, it left my other brother (who is four year younger) and me as the survivors of the family. Or, at the risk of being morbid, to put it another way, there is now no one in front of me. We have all moved up a rung on the ladder.
I don't know if you are a fan of Neil Cavuto, who rides herd on the financial market for Fox News Channel, but Neil had a marvelous piece on Friday, June 13th regarding just this subject and the question of time. He was talking about two icons he grew up with: Gregory Peck and David Brinkley and the fact that they were both of his parents' generation. The difference between Neil and me is that Peck and Brinkley were part of my generation. Neil is a mite younger.
His piece correlated to what I was thinking on Father's Day, and that is how quickly time goes, not only about one's own life but also about all those who have gone before. Neil's final words were, "It's all about time. What we had and didn't appreciate when we had it. And what we have, and won't appreciate. Until we lose it."
Perhaps financial planners and advisors should take these words to heart and always keep their meaning in front of then. Too often, they exhibit a rather cavalier attitude when it comes to a client, not fully realizing what is actually happening in the client's life. Maybe they should consider their own lives, as well. Who is in front of them? What has gone?
Whenever you deal with someone, even if it comes down to only money (I don't emphasize only), it is prudent to be sensitive to what is going on. Consider the client as more than just a number, as more than just a paycheck, as more than just a cipher. Consider the humanness too. Just as you would want if the tables were turned.
The Golden Rule? Why not? Maybe that's what's wrong with many so-called financial planners. They tend to forget.
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