Since I was a kid, Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman has been one of my favorite movies. It’s dark, gritty, and has some of the best, villain one-liners of all-time. Most of all, Bruce Wayne is my kind of superhero—his only powers are wealth, intelligence, and non-superhuman strength. He’s a charitable billionaire by day and vigilante superhero by night. In other words, he is exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.
But as adults, we still need heroes in our lives. Just like when we were kids, heroes encourage us to be a better version of ourselves. They are essentially mentors that we will probably never meet. So who is your financial hero? Who sets an example for your financial life? Warren Buffett is an obvious choice—he’s successful, frugal, and wise, but someone like Bethenny Frankel, a reality star turned entrepreneur, would probably be a more honest choice, although she carries more flash than substance.
Find someone that encapsulates both prudence and relevance. For example, my financial hero is Scott Leonard, financial advisor and author of The Liberated CEO, who decided to work remotely for a year and sail around the world with his family—not exactly practical, but he had a goal and made a plan.
What characteristics should your financial hero have? Did he overcome financial adversity to create enormous wealth (e.g. Jay-Z)? Does she live life to the frugal extreme (e.g. Shailene Woodley)? Or maybe he uses his wealth to pursue scientific achievements (e.g. Elon Musk)? This characteristic should speak to you personally and encourage good financial decisions.
When I read Leonard’s book, I learned that he built a successful firm with the right team so that he could work from a yacht without diminishing the quality of service to his clients. Now, I may never sail around the world—I don't even sail. But I would like to be in a position both financially and operationally to take extended time off. I love to travel, so his story resonated with me personally. It gives me a goal that I can consistently look toward.
Your financial hero should keep you focused and grounded in your financial plan. It is extremely difficult to achieve long term financial goals because they are not something you can just wake up one day and do. Instead, you have to make little, prudent decisions every day that gradually get you there one day at a time. So having a financial hero makes that process easier—they provide a template that helps you pave a way toward your financial goals.
Josh Norris is an Investment Advisory Representative of LeFleur Financial. Josh can be reached at josh@LeFleurFinancial.com.