Perfect is the Enemy of Good
As in all new endeavors, a guide is required. My Certified Flying Instructor has been flying for over 44 years. Yes, he has the patience of Job. A line from an old movie, “The Battle of Britain,” comes to mind. “You can teach monkeys to fly better than that,” I think he’s thought it but is too polite to say it.
Just as in flying, to engage in planning and investing, employing a logical process increases the chances of getting there. Our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals* strive to become our client’s guides. Their job is to increase the probability of a successful outcome: In flying parlance, getting there and landing safely.
You guessed it, a flight plan is required. Just as in real life, we believe every family should spend time, effort, and creativity to define the future they seek. They may not attain it entirely, but over time, as in flight, adapting the flight plan to current conditions will get you there. Maybe not on the day and time you scheduled initially, but most of the time, you’ll get to where you want to go.
Time to take off and enjoy the flight, oops: We encounter turbulence, the weather is changing, what do we do? Do we land, climb, descend, do a 180, change the route, land at an alternate airfield, or jump out?
As in life, we adapt; jumping out is rarely an option: We may have to change retirement time frames on the path to retirement if employment changes. If, while in retirement, our loved one’s health changes, we might forgo the big vacation. The plan adapts as our families’ life-events change. If a plan probability of success drops from over 90% to say 85%: What does this signify? No, a 15% decrease in success probability does not mean our client will be needy, but we may suggest that an expensive vacation should be postponed for a year. If weather changes, we land at a nearby airfield, delaying arrival at our final destination.
One of our clients, a retired airline pilot, an ex-Navy pilot, mentioned that his career was on the line, every time, during the last 15 seconds of flight as he landed on an aircraft carrier. I recently learned how to make short-field landings: You descent sharply and land the airplane near the landing-end of the runway and stop it quickly. My first landing resembled an aircraft carrier landing – hard. On my second landing, you couldn’t feel the wheels touch. I said, “perfect landing,” my instructor said, “I’ve had only one of those during my entire flying career,” I asked, “How many years have you been flying?” He answered, “44 years.”
And so it is with financial planning: Perfect is the Enemy of Good….
Carlos Dominguez – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Portfolio Manager, RJFS
Photo by Vladi Malchevskiy
*Christina Jones CFP® see more at https://www.cfp.net/
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