Saturday, May 16, 2015

Secure your financial future: Hire an expensive finance professional

Today I received another update from Coral Korrupt. Coral is an American pro-domme who is currently battling cancer. You can read more about her and the medical fund she set up to pay for her treatment at GoFundMe. I don't know her, we never met, yet her story moves me. Unfortunately it is a sad story. I've written about her before: here.

Not that it is fair, but it differs greatly where you live. Getting ill in the United States is prohibitively expensive, while most European countries have some form of social security that help cover the majority of expenses. And that is just the Western world. Even then being unable to work can become a financial burden, especially for those of us who are self employed.

financial planning, nest eggs

My background is in finance - not something you go round telling these days - evil banks, sky high bonuses and stuff, you know. In my spare time I advice people on their finances, an activity surprisingly similar to my day job, the only difference is the number are smaller. The impact on a person's life however is much bigger. I always emphasizing the future is uncertain. There are simply no guarantees. Even worse, politicians cannot be trusted. Still, you have to plan for the future.

An engineer who works for Google or Apple, will never be out of a job. But what if you studied ancient Sumerian languages or perhaps work as a pro-domme? You definitely need some financial planning. By that I mean plan for the rest of your life. If that sounds a bit over the top think about yourself ten or twenty years in the future. Where do you want to be? Is that feasible? How about your retirement? What happens if you fall ill and can't work any more. Do others depend on you? How about buying that house, being independent or just saving up some money for a rainy day.

From one professional to another: Hire a pro! Tax laws, estate planning, income tax and deductibles are always shifting and highly complex. There are people who specialize in financial planning. A certified financial planner (CFP) holds an advanced degree and is certified, which means their knowledge is up to date. Of course they don't come cheap but - given sufficient cash flow - they provide peace of mind. With it comes financial independence and a good night's sleep - every single night, which in the end makes it a bargain.

Does this mean you have to place your financial future in the hands of some stranger? No, definitely not. What a CFP does, is discuss your long term goals with you, asses their viability and draw up a plan to achieve them. A good CFP monitors progress and discusses deviations from the goals you set, as well as changes in your personal situation that force you to rethink your long-term horizon. Choosing a CFP feels a bit like choosing a doctor. What you are interested in is their professional skills. Yes, it is great if you get along nicely, but a healthy working relationship is all that matters. If it doesn't feel good, move on!

You can ask your bookkeeper, or a bit more suave your accountant, to come up with some kind of long term financial plan. But before you do, realize there is a difference between an accountant and a CFP. The latter is someone who looks towards the future while an accountant looks at the past. In other words a CFP helps you get results while an accountant assists in calculating the score.

CFP is a fairly international designation, so you should have no difficulty finding a list of professionals. The hard part is selecting someone. First of all, forget about freebies. Why would you place your financial security in the hands of someone who thinks his short term desires are a match for your long term monetary goals? Obviously it has to be someone who is kink aware or even better kink positive. A woman is preferable, but it definitely has to be someone who sets you straight when you slip into character because you don't like what you hear.

For all of that you have to pay good money. That might hurt, especially if you are accustomed to strangers sending you gifts out of the blue. Just ask yourself: how long will that go on? Are you willing to depend on that forever? If the answer is no: hire someone. Pay them. You know your skills are worth the money, so are theirs. Is it risk free? No! That's life. Then again accidents can happen during a session as well. (and yes liability is one more risk to think of!).

Clint Eastwood famously said: "do you feel lucky punk?" and it always ended bad for the villain. One should never argue with a Magnum .45. Same thing with financial planning. Do you wanna risk it all and remember - risk is nothing more than a statistician's guess about how often something improbable - and often highly unpleasant -  is going to happen. Usually they are wrong, meaning they underestimate how often bad things happen. You really wanna gamble with your future or do you prefer that over time you nest egg grows and with it your financial independence, a byword for freedom to make your own choices for the rest of your life!

If you decide to engage in some financial planning, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If anyone did ever discover the secret formula to getting rich without effort, they're either loath to share it or they bought their own tropical island. Either way you won't ever hear from them again. All the rest are imposters. Financial independence, just like anything in life, takes time and dedication. But the pay-off is great. Don't believe me? Look at your professional network and think of someone a few decades older than you. Do you want to end up like her? So plan ahead and save up!

Remember: successful financial planning allows you to be master of your own destiny, rather than a slave to other people's money, something very few people will ever accomplish. That's why!

In other words: Louboutins are nice, cash is better! So much better!!

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