When speaking with people about establishing a financial plan I am often reference a popular movie from the early 90’s titled “What About Bob”. In the movie Bill Murray brilliantly plays an unstable patient Bob Wiley who seeks help from an egotistical psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin played by Richard Dreyfus. Dr. Marvin was known for a writing a self-help book titled “Baby Steps” which Wiley/Murray were able to turn into a great comedy. Throughout the movie we heard Bob Wiley refer to the term “Baby Steps” in almost everything he did. This phrase helped Wiley navigate through his many phobias, ultimately driving his psychiatrist to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Although it was rumored that the 2 actors did not get along off screen, their on-screen chemistry or lack thereof, for the roles played made for many laughs.
How does a comedy from the early 90’s relate to financial planning? Great Question. Many people have questions and goals relating to personal finance and don’t know where to start. Questions often vary from, how do we save more? How do we create a budget? Should I pay off my mortgage? Should I lease or buy a new car? What type of savings vehicle is best for me? How do I prepare for the cost of college? What type of life insurance should I purchase to protect my family? It is at this point when we need to channel our inner Bob Wiley and remember the phrase “Baby Steps”. We can’t solve all our goals in a day or even in a year. Instead we should prioritize what we want to accomplish, then remind ourselves that if done right, we can chip away at our goal list the same way Bob Wiley did……using Baby Steps.
Much like our health, creating a well-balanced financial plan is more about creating a change in lifestyle not just a massive, overwhelming shift that will only last a short while. If you are someone that needs help getting going or would like to step back and find someone to help you navigate, reach out for guidance. Your financial professional should be able to help you with many of the questions above and should use the most update date financial planning software to assist you in creating a budget and a foundation that you can build on. Financial planning is much more than just selecting investments, it’s about being held accountable and establishing a foundation for you to build on for your future.