Hey Travel Nurses. When it comes to saving and investing, so many of you are asking the wrong questions and it could spell disaster for you.
So, I’ve got this love/hate relationship with Google and Fintech (financial technology). On the one hand, it’s providing access to financial services to people that have previously been excluded from the process unless they had half a million dollars to invest with someone.
More access to tools to help better your life, that’s a good thing.
But on the other hand, you can also fall into the “tools trap”.
So what do I mean by the tools trap?
Well, what I’m talking about is looking for the financial instrument that’s going to be the one thing that’s going to take you over the hump into financial freedom.
And yes, that’s a trap.
Think about it this way, does it matter whether you have the facts about a particular medication or what it was developed to treat, if you’ve got no idea about patient history or whether this particular medication is going to react negatively with another medication.
The details about the medication doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the history of the patient and what that patient needs to be treated for. But so many of you are doing the same thing when it comes to your finances.
Too often I hear travel nurses asking questions like:
"Is a Roth better for retirement, or is a traditional IRA better for retirement?" or
"Should I invest in real estate, or should I invest in cryptocurrency?"
It’s not that these questions are inherently bad questions. But the trap lies in pulling away from strategically meeting a financial need or a goal to just adding another tool to your toolbox that might not even be the best tool for the job.
Or something you need at all!
Last year I worked with a woman. She’s a chiropractor, extremely successful, owned two practices and was looking to add on a third. Honestly, one of the most brilliant people I’ve spoken with.
But when it came to her finances, she wasn’t asking the right questions.
An insurance agent came along and sold her a particular life insurance policy that she thought would have been good enough for her to not only protect herself and her children from financial hardship if something happened to her that would also provide retirement savings for her in the future.
Long story short, that’s not what ended up happening at all.
The advisor never asked her questions about her financial needs and goals or how much those needs and goals were going to cost her. Or, modeled out how this life insurance policy that he was selling to her was going to help her meet those needs.
He didn’t do any of those things.
Sadly, in the end the chiropractor ended up losing over $279,000 in potential earnings because she chose the wrong tool for the job.
She looked at a tool without looking at strategy first.
When you start the financial planning process - whether you’re talking about retirement planning, college planning, debt planning - whatever. When you start the process looking at “how can I use this tool to do a job?” versus asking the question “what’s the right tool to do this job?” you end up missing the total picture.
Oftentimes, you end up spending more money than is necessary to do the job and wasting more time with it as well.
So why does this even matter?
Well it matters, and it matters a lot because we’ve got the limited resources of time and money. We have to find out the best way to use those two resources to turn our money into more money and keep more of it.
Listen, if we didn’t have the limited resources of time and money this entire financial planning process wouldn’t be necessary because you have all the time in the world and all the money in the world. Right?
But we don’t, and that’s why it matters.
Listen, facts and knowledge do not equal a financial strategy.
Start with the problem, find the strategy, and implement the two.
Marlon is a licensed financial advisor at weshfinancial.com and is known as "The Travel Nurse Financial Advisor". Marlon specializes in helping travel nurses crush their financial goals by helping them optimize taxes, accelerate retirement savings, and maximize their investments.