What are you doing to stay healthy?
Photo: JD Maidens. Source: US Air Force
Our bodies and our finances are linked, and not just because of how much we spend on prescriptions. Health is integral to our lives, the same way money is. And studying finance is similar to studying medicine: there are technical issues that require specialized training, but most of the principles are pretty basic. Stay active, eat well, and get enough rest. Financially, spend less than we earn, have clear goals, and don’t panic or get greedy when the market goes crazy. Simple advice, but not especially easy.
In addition, both financial and medical professionals owe fiduciary duties to their clients. If your doctor or financial advisor suggest that you do something, you should be able to trust that their advice is in your best interest. You shouldn’t have to worry that they’re lining their pockets at your expense, recommending products and procedures designed to get themselves rich. And it would be wrong for professionals to talk about your concerns outside of their offices. They owe you a duty of loyalty, and confidentiality.
Taking care of ourselves financially and physically is a long-term process. It requires careful planning every step of the way. It’s one more reason to be skeptical of automated financial advice, the same way most folks look sideways at the notion of robot doctors. Our health is highly personal. It doesn’t fit into a standard cookie-cutter mold.
Sanbot Robot. Photo: QIHAN Technology. Source: Wikimedia
The most important service any doctor or financial adviser can perform is to help us to see ourselves and the world as it is, not as we want it to be – to help us become “undeluded.” Choosing to listen to honest, caring advice is one of the healthiest choices anyone can make.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Charter Trust Company
“The Best Trust Company in New England”