It was time for my daughter to come home. She had just finished up her first year at LMU-LA and she had to be out of her dorm room by 8pm.
We had hoped to be down there (LA is 200 miles south of San Luis Obispo) much earlier but for various reasons we didn't even get on campus until 2:20pm. By the time we had packed the truck it was 4:30 in the afternoon ... on the Friday ... before Mother's Day.
From my years growing up in the LA area, I knew traffic was going to be a issue. Any departure time after 2pm is asking for trouble. At least we were only going the 40 miles to Valencia where we would spend the weekend visiting with family.
IT'S ALL RED
As we were driving off campus, our son Austin pulled up traffic on his smart phone. "It's all dark red on the 405 almost to the 101," he let me know. There are no alternate routes through Sepulveda Pass and going around through downtown LA or up Topanga Canyon would take even longer. "They're all dark red, too," Austin remarked in anticipation.
"What about back streeting it to get on the 405 further north?" That was possible so we took the "scenic route" through Santa Monica north to the western end of Sunset Boulevard then over. By the time we got on the freeway, we had missed almost all of the stop-and-go traffic. Whew!
20 miles later we ran into the same issue as the 405 intersected with Interstate 5 which was clogged up tight from three successive traffic accidents. Once again, my son gave updates and directions from the back seat while we jumped off the freeway, zig-zagged over to Balboa and back-streeted our way past all the problems.
A PLAN OR PLANNING
I had a plan for the afternoon. We could have stuck with that plan and would have made it to Valencia ... eventually. The plan wasn't a failure, but it wasn't much of a success either.
It was the combination of factors that saved the day. With or without GPS, I knew where I was (they have road signs for that) but I didn't know what was going on a few blocks or several miles away. I needed Austin (my navigator), his smartphone and Google Maps with traffic for that.
If any one of those pieces was missing, the overall benefit would have been seriously comprimised.
THE MONEY PARALLEL
When it comes to your money, you have a plan even if you haven't sat down with a financial planner. Your plan is to keep following the same route that you have followed in the past - just like all those commuters who were stuck in the parking lot on the freeway that Friday afternoon before Mother's Day.
A few might have decided before they left their offices to check the traffic and have a new plan mapped out. Clients of traditional financial planners do this when they pay a fee and get a written comprehensive plan. They may (or may not) follow that plan in the first few weeks, but it doesn't take long for stuff to happen and the plan to become less useful.
The best approach is to have a way to monitor your current financial information AND the navigator who can continuously translate that data into a useful framework. That way, you can concentrate on driving your financial life and still keep both eyes on the road.
You make dozens if not hudreds of econcomic decisions every day. An active relationship with a Wealth Coach (your financial navigator) allows you to make the best, most informed decisions at each moment with real time updates (through web based tools) on what is going on in the financial world around you. Many times you'll stick to the same strategy and everything will be fine ...
... but in those special moments when stuff happens, you'll be able to make adjustments - adjustments that will more certainly get you where you want to be rather than sitting in a parking lot on the 405 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles.
We can help you prioritize your goals and scope your focus.
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