Why bother? Ric Edelman says that you already have it all …

I while ago I wrote a post gauging my own performance against the “Ric Edelman Secrets” …

I’ll leave you to go back and read the post and its comments as I think that they serve to show some of the differences between financial advice for the masses and the types of things that people who want extraordinary levels of wealth (if you’re reading this, that’s probably you!) need to consider.

In case you haven’t yet come across him or his books, Ric Edelman runs one of the country’s largest independent Financial Planning firms, so his firm has interviewed thousands of people looking for financial advice.

Ric says that when he (or one of his staff) asks the question of a new client “what are your financial goals?” the most common answers – by far – in this descending order of importance, are:

1. To buy a house

2. To save for (their kids’) college

3. To save for retirement

Now, here’s where I agree totally with Ric: these are not financial goals … they are inevitable outcomes!

Loosely paraphrasing Ric, here’s why:

1. Your house – you probably already have a house (most people do), and if you don’t, you won’t have to be prodded very much to go out and buy one – look at the sub-prime crisis to see how easy it can be to buy a house!

2. Your childrens’ college – if your children want to go to college, they will … one way or another, they will come up with the money. Sure you can improve on the situation by providing the funds to help them get into the college of their choice, but it’s a qualitative goal, not a ‘make or break’ in most cases.

3. Your retirement – you will retire … one day! Maybe not at the time, and in the manner that you would like to – but, you will retire (or die trying). It’s as simple as that!

So, why bother doing any financial planning when you already have – or will have – it all?!

Simple: it’s because these people haven’t yet developed a sense of their Life’s Purpose … to me that is the only goal worth aiming for … but, we have already discussed that subject, at length.

Be Sociable, Share!

0 thoughts on “Why bother? Ric Edelman says that you already have it all …

  1. I do not think it’s a goal, it become one when you say ” I want to put a down payment of x,xxx on a house, I want xx,xxx in my son’s college account by 18. I want to have x,xxx,xxx by the age 65 in my fund

    It when you put a specific amount on it, then it becomes your personal goal

  2. I think Tim Ferris has covered this topic in his 4 hour work week book best.

    There are doing, being and having goals. Having 7 million dollars is a reasonable “having” goal. It is a good definite goal.

    While having a few “having” goals is all well and good, Tim advises to look beyond “having” goals and look more at those things you wished you had time for. These are your “doing” goals (i.e. what do you want to do that you wish you could always do? e.g. play the piano, learn to sky dive, paint, build, etc) and your “being” goals (i.e. what kind of role do you wish you could fulfill with your family (e.g. a good dad), friends (e.g. a helping hand) or become a pillar of the community (e.g. charity worker)).

  3. AJ – I’ve been scratching my head a bit on this one because I understand the point you’re getting at…I’m a 7MIT wannabe playing from the bench…but Monk’s view about these types of statements being goals makes sense as well.

    As I think a bit about vision, strategy, goals, etc. I believe that a vision or mission (you call it a life purpose) is what should ultimately guide us. It’s the most important piece of the big picture because everything else we do should enable this guiding vision or mission. I think this is true of any organization or business as well. Every military commander I’ve worked with has set forth his vision for the organization under which we then crafted goals and made plans. I intend to do the same when I have my turn at command.

    To me an individual’s vision/mission/life purpose requires a series of goals to enable it’s attainment. Then each of those goals requires an action plan for their achievement. Maybe both views expressed above are correct when viewed in that perspective.

    You and Rick are talking about the vision part, while the financial examples you give above, and Monk expounds upon are goals that enable the vision.

    I’m Minding My Own Business, are you minding yours?

  4. @ MoneyMonk – Despite my emphasis on finding your Life’s Purpose (hence your Number/Date), I always have niggling in the back of my mind the saying: “When Man plans, God laughs” 🙂

    @ Caprica – Do this for a way to encapsulate your ‘being’ goals:


    And, try this to capture your ‘having’ goals:


    @ Jeff – To start any journey, you need a Destination and then you need to decide when you intend to get there and then choose your mode of transport accordingly and ensure that you have enough money to buy the gas or tickets. Financially speaking, that’s: 1. Your Life’s Purpose; 2. Your Number/Date combo.; and, 3. The savings/business/investment method’s that you will ultimately need to choose (I will give you some ideas on how to select in upcoming posts).

  5. I think the comments here captured it all – the vision, the “being”, the destination, and the life purpose are the end. The goals, financial or otherwise, number/date, strategies, plans are the means and the driving forces to enable it.

  6. It’s been said that strategy is how we link ends, ways, and means together.

    Ends (our destinations) are attained by using our means (resources) in a variety of ways (Courses of actions, plans etc.).

    Or for those mathematically inclined

    Ways + Means = Ends

    Thanks for the thought provoking post AJ.

  7. Pingback: Man plans, God Laughs … « How to Make 7 Million in 7 Years™

Leave a Reply