I have a golf buddy, Jim, that is a pilot. We often talk about flying when we play golf, and what I’ve gleaned from our conversations is that flying is a process driven endeavor. Things happen fast when you’re traveling at 500 miles an hour. During a conversation with Jim, I learned how significant the impact can be from a plan being just slightly off. A pilot leaving Los Angeles for New York City, off just one degree in his heading, would find himself landing in Philadelphia instead.
I think the importance of mid-course corrections applies equally to financial planning. In our work for clients, we make projections based on current information and our best estimates of the future. Yet, even our best estimates are likely to require adjustment.
Just as a pilot may have to adjust course during flight to avoid storms or counter crosswinds, a financial planner must adjust to life’s unexpected twists and turns. I like to tell clients our true value isn’t in producing an initial plan, it’s in our ability to apply wisdom and experience when life events knock the plan off course.