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Snow!!!

Having grown up in the Northeast, snow never really bothered me.  As a kid, it came, it went, we were out of school, life was good.  Then I got a job working in a grocery store.  Needless to say, my viewpoint changed.  What used to be: ‘Cool, snow’, changed to a scene from Armageddon as people raced to load up on water, milk, bread, and toilet paper (?)…Yep, I am in my 40’s and still haven’t figured that one out.  The shelves were literally left barren – it was quite the site to see.  Fast forward to now, and in N.C. the mere mention of snow sets off the panic alarms…to the point my wife said she might run into Costco to pick up dog food, and I looked at her like she was crazy!  Surely she wasn’t going to brave seemingly half the population of the Triangle for dog food…maybe she could pick a better option?!  The way people are reacting makes one wonder how much snow is actually headed our way!

Are kids going to be out of school for several days?

What if we can’t get more toilet paper! 

Oh, the humanity, and all this for 1-2” of snow!  Yep, that’s right – just 2” of the powdery stuff is enough to result in an economic stimulus for the grocery stores and psychologists, and shut down for the rest of the state!

While seeing this type of reaction causes laughter and frustration amongst a lot of transplants from colder regions, a lot of it comes down to planning.

When the immediateness of the moment hits us, we are responding to our emotions, for example: ’What if the storm is bad?’, but what if we did a better job planning for the emotional moments that could impact us just as much as a snow storm…say a job loss, etc.

I believe we can, through the Stress Inoculation Intervention.

Dr. Brad & Ted Klontz of the Financial Psychology Institute introduced me to this concept during their program at Creighton University, where it basically laid out a framework for people to contemplate what steps they should take when an “oh crap!” moment occurs.

I more simplistically call it your financial disaster plan.

Think of it in this manner:

How would you feel if you already had gas in the van, milk in the fridge, and salt for your driveway?

Probably pretty relaxed and mostly prepared.

Now think in terms of your financial house, in the event say you or your spouse loses their job:

How do we pay for our housing? What if we run out cash, what is our next asset we can use? What other options are available to us? 

But let’s go a step further.  What are things we are grateful for right here, right now? Who can you turn to for emotional support?  These are critical areas to have thought through, because unfortunately when emotions take over, it can lead us to some unhealthy places.

By going through this planning now it allows for you and your advisor to address things before an emotional response causes potential havoc.  Things are stressful enough during these times, so think about the reassurance you would have in being able to access your financial disaster plan and just execute it with your team of professionals.

As Gene Hackman’s character Captain Ramsey said in the movie Crimson Tide: ‘You don’t just fight battles when everything is hunky dory’, the same can be said for life.  So instead of waiting for the next moment to come to you and reacting, take the steps now in order to not be that person running into a store looking for milk the day before a snowstorm.

If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

And Away We Go!!!

Hi and thanks for visiting Financial Recon!  This blog has been years in the making and we are excited that we could launch it in conjunction with our new website and more importantly our 10th anniversary!

Its hard to believe that 10 years ago, we were living in Maryland, my wife was 7 months pregnant with our first child, and the Mid-Atlantic was getting hit with back to back 3 foot snowstorms.  So what better time to start a business?!

As we joke in our family, when we go…we go BIG!!!

To sound like your parents or grandparents…I remember that first weekend I drove through snow drifts, impassable roads just to get to my clients….

Cliché’ yes, but the truth I swear!

So why Financial Recon? What is it going to be about? And with a million (now +1) blogs, why now?

I came up with the title Financial Recon based on my service in the Air Force.  While in the military, I was an Airborne Systems Engineer responsible for troubleshooting and maintaining countless electronic systems that helped provide commanders the information they needed to make decisions.  Simply put, recon put the intel in the decision makers hands…and that’s what my aim is for you here.

My intent is not just to talk about investments, savings strategies, etc…but also practical things we can all do to keep a couple extra dollars in our wallet now and in the future.  So whether it be prepping for a trip to Disney, mental tricks you can use to fool yourself into saving, or getting ready to retire, I want to provide you information that I hope you will find beneficial.

And finally, why now?  Well simply put, there is a lot of misinformation out there and I have grown weary of seeing people who are not qualified to render an opinion doing so.  So I finally decided that I needed to throw my voice into the mix.  I believe there are many ways that an issue can be solved and that through collaboration, the end benefactor is ultimately YOU.

So to understand a little bit about me and where I come from let me share with you the following:

Currently in Cary, NC with my wife, 3 kids, and 2 dogs

I grew up in North Jersey (could see the Skyline from my hometown, to put closeness to NYC in perspective), and like a lot of folks wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after high school…well after bouncing around for a couple of years, ended up in the service as I mentioned above, and then the financial industry.  After several years in corporate America, I grew tired of the b.s., and then started my own business.  I have learned a lot over the last decade, but am thankful we are where we are today.

Thankfully because of my time in the service I was eligible for the 9/11 GI Bill, which allowed me to pursue higher education from Creighton University in Omaha.  Finally in 2019, I was able to complete my graduate coursework where I gained a background in Investment Management & Financial Analysis as well as Behavioral Finance and Financial Psychology. 

So since this concluded, and I now had some free time, I decided that getting this blog up and going would be a good idea….(Check back in a couple months to see if my wife agrees!)

Outside of work, I am a Giants, and Mets fan, but I mainly get my baseball fix through the Durham Bulls. 

Recently though my daughter introduced me to the NWSL, and the NC Courage women’s professional team and I have to tell you, if you live near one of these teams, I highly recommend it!

Besides sports, I enjoy reading about history and embarrassing my kids with obscure Seinfeld references and 90’s/00’s music.

And finally, before I forget and lose my ability to re-enter my home state  I must make the obligatory mention that I am a big Springsteen fan as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read and learn a little bit what this blog and I am about and I look forward to continuing on the conversation!

Mike