Broker Check

The Financial Junk Drawer

February 16, 2021

Junk drawers, we all have them and it doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in:

“Where is the extra deck of cards for pinochle?” CHECK THE JUNK DRAWER!

“Honey, have you seen the nail clippers?” CHECK THE JUNK DRAWER!

“One of the beer pong balls rolled under the fridge, where are the extras?” CHECK THE JUNK DRAWER!

 When I meet with someone for the first time, I often see something when it comes to their finances. It looks something like this:


The first thing I say to that client is “good job.” And I mean it sincerely. Why? Because if someone has a financial junk drawer that means they have done something right. That “something” was they decided to start saving, start investing, or an event happened in their life that made them realize they needed to add a financial tool to the equation. For example, a young couple gets married and buys a house so they purchase life insurance policies to protect each other on the mortgage. I love working with anyone who has shown a willingness to save or had the ability to see a financial need for as life circumstances changed. Some of that “stuff” in the junk drawer might go away after we implement your plan, but there will always be a few things in that drawer that are a solid investment in your financial future.

So how do we end up with that junk drawer in the first place? Before people decide to make the commitment to sit down and create a holistic financial plan, they tend to make financial decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people.  There is a good possibility somebody reading this has a junk drawer that recently added Bitcoin and a few shares of Game Stop that they are still convinced is going “to the moon.”  As we slowly collect various “products” at different stages in our life, we end up with a junk drawer that lacks coordination and direction.  Other common things I find in that drawer also magically tend to be high commission products. I’m not here to debate the merits of some of those products (I’ll save that for a later post), but if someone sits down for a meeting with you, has a presentation laid out with a magic bullet financial solution AND you haven’t met them yet….run as far away as you can, as fast you can.

My meetings begin with a blank book called your Vision Book, asking as many questions as possible. A good financial plan is not created with me talking, it’s created by me shutting up and listening. I need to know what financial goals you want to accomplish, when you want to accomplish them by and what fears or obstacles may be in the way preventing you from achieving them.  Often times, the questions I ask make clients realize they aren’t exactly sure what they want, but by talking through it together with their spouse and family, we can help bring clarity to what may currently be a blurry vision. By clarifying goals and priorities, whatever products are necessary for that plan solve themselves. All of the sudden, the junk drawer has become a comprehensive financial plan. So if you have a financial junk drawer, good job. When you’re ready to turn that junk drawer into a coordinated plan find a good financial planner.