At the heart of every financial decision lies a deeper question of purpose. What is the ultimate aim of amassing wealth? “Discover Your Purpose” is a chapter that challenges readers to align their financial strategies with their life’s goals, ensuring that their investment choices are a reflection of their personal values and long-term aspirations.
It begins with a critical examination of the psychological factors that influence financial decisions – such as the “Lizard Brain” discussed in Chapter 1 – advocating for a shift toward more mindful and deliberate wealth management. This approach is not just about countering impulsive reactions; it’s about establishing a clear direction that guides every financial move to set up you and your loved ones for long-term success.
Charting Your Future Through Investment
Investing without a written plan is likened to wandering without a map, where random choices lead to unpredictable and often undesirable destinations. With that in mind, this chapter underscores the importance of drafting a strategic financial plan, akin to a medical diagnosis before treatment, to ensure that each investment decision is made with precision and clarity.
The analogy continues with the assertion that just as a prescription is based on a thorough understanding of one’s health, a solid financial plan stems from a deep comprehension of personal financial health. This strategic plan serves as a safeguard against the random fluctuations of the market, ensuring that your investments are sufficiently protected but also purposefully aligned with the individual’s future aspirations.
Stories of Purposeful Wealth Creation
The chapter then transitions to the fictional clients Joe and Susie Smith, which is a compelling story about the transformative effect of proactive engagement in one’s financial affairs. They moved beyond the passive management of their resources to take control and direct their investments in alignment with their life goals. However, it was the realization that without a clear financial plan, they were at the mercy of arbitrary and unpredictable forces, which led them to seek a partnership for wealth management and coaching.
This partnership provided them with a top-notch system and the expertise necessary to navigate their financial journey effectively, setting them up for the future with a calculated and personal plan today. Their experience illustrates the significance of having a purpose for every dollar and the profound impact this can have on not just preserving but meaningfully increasing wealth and decreasing stress.
Inclusive Financial Journeys
The collective journey of wealth management is further exemplified in this chapter through the integration of spouses in financial planning. It discusses the unfortunate transition to widowhood to showcase the importance of proactive and inclusive discussions that prepare both partners for future financial realities. The chapter also emphasizes the necessity of involving both partners in financial conversations, thus ensuring that both are equally informed and empowered to handle financial matters.
This inclusive approach mitigates the shock and potential confusion following the loss of a partner or other sudden events. The chapter then touches on the importance of establishing a relationship with financial advisors that mirrors the trust and familiarity of family, ensuring that advisors become more than consultants, serving as partners in the client’s financial well-being that provide genuine guidance and support through all of life’s stages.
Legacy and Life’s Intentions
Later in the chapter, readers are prompted to contemplate the enduring impact of their financial decisions. What legacy will you leave? How do you envision your family’s future? These are just fun hypothetical considerations; they are very real and important questions that lead to actionable insights by inviting open family dialogue about shared financial goals.
Regular interactions with a wealth coach or advisor are encouraged to ensure that financial plans evolve in harmony with life changes and personal growth. The chapter promotes an iterative process of planning, where purpose and legacy are at the forefront, demanding ongoing attention and adaptation over the year as we and our goals inevitably change.
Living with Financial Intention
The chapter culminates in a powerful call to live life with intention, where wealth management becomes a dynamic tool for achieving personal dreams and aspirations. It’s about transforming wealth into a meaningful resource that not only secures a financial future but also fulfills a vision of success defined by personal values and life purposes.
In this journey, we should look beyond the numbers and view our wealth as an extension of our life’s work. It’s a holistic approach that intertwines financial planning with the essence of who we are and what we hope to achieve, making every financial decision a chapter in our life’s story.
With this mindset, wealth is not just accumulated but crafted and curated to support a life of purpose. Ultimately, this chapter is about a philosophy of life where wealth is harmoniously integrated with one’s most important goals and desires.
If you have any questions or want to know how to get your hands on a copy of “Wealth on Purpose” by Bryan Ballentine, give us a call!
Have a great weekend!
Sources: “Wealth on Purpose” by Bryan Ballentine
Golf Tip of the Week
This Easy Method Fixes 2 Common Golf Swing Mistakes—And JT Approves
Pro golfers keep their swing path — a buzzword-y way of saying, the direction of their swing — it a pretty neutral place. Within a few degrees either side of where they’re aiming.
Amateur golfers? Well, their swing path gets pretty severe in a hurry.
There are basically two traps that golfers fall into with their swing path. The first is swinging too far from out-to-in, or to the left for right-handed golfers. It’s the classic over-the-top move; if you hit a big banana slice which starts left and curves out to the right, then there’s a good chance you’re swinging too far to the left and with an open clubface.
Getting “stuck” is the opposite problem. That’s when your arms get too far behind your body on the downswing. it means you swing too far from in-to-out, or excessively out to the right. It can lean to big blocks and hooks.
How do you go about solving these severe swing path issues? Well, Justin Thomas gave some interesting insight in a recent Instagram post about it.
The method: Using golf swing obstacles
JT’s been spending the offseason grinding on his golf swing, and when he does, you’ll often notice him practicing using different obstacles. This week, he explained why:
I’ve always been somebody who responds well to objects to help me get where I want (bucket of balls gets me swinging left naturally, stick helps me not suck it in going back).
Sticking obstacles in the way of the ball as you swing is a pretty rudimentary, but very effective, way of getting your swing moving in your desired direction. Your goal is simply to swing around the obstacle. If you can do that, your golf swing will land in a better spot.
2 obstacle drills you can use
Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Chris Mayson has a great faults and fixes video series about different swing path issues (which you can check out right here) and in it he suggests two drills:
To counter the over-the-top, swing-too-far-left issue, Mayson suggests putting a towel just outside the toe of the club. Your goal, obviously, is to not hit the towel, which you won’t be able to do if you come over-the-top.
To counteract the too inside-out move, then you need to place an obstacle behind the golf behind, so you swing through it before you hit the ball. Here, Chris uses an alignment stick.
Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi
Recipe of the Week
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook’s Note), plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Red gel food coloring
- Pink gel food coloring
- Sprinkles, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- For the cookies: Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and mix until well combined, scraping down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 2 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut the dough and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart (a small off-set spatula is really helpful when transferring the cookies). After both pieces of dough have been rolled out and cut, combine the dough scraps and re-roll and cut to utilize as much of the dough as possible.
- Bake until the cookies are just barely golden around the edges, rotating halfway through, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
- For the icing: Meanwhile, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. The consistency should be similar to that of slightly thinned yogurt and should coat the back of a spoon. Adjust with additional confectioners’ sugar or milk, if needed.
- Place 2 tablespoons of icing into each of 2 small bowls. Add 4 drops of red gel food coloring to one bowl and 2 drops of pink gel food coloring to the other and stir until fully incorporated. Using a small spoon, drizzle a small amount of each color over the white icing and then repeatedly drag a toothpick through the icing until you create a marbled effect.
- Working with one cooled cookie at a time, carefully dip it face-side down into the icing and allow any excess to drip off before placing the cooking back on the cooling rack. Add additional red and pink icing to the bigger bowl of icing as needed to maintain the marbling effect. Decorate with sprinkles (if using) before allowing to the icing to fully set, about 4 to 5 hours.
- When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods. If you prefer a softer cookie, reduce the baking time by 2 to 3 minutes.
- Special equipment: heart-shaped cookie cutters in various sizes (suggested sizes: 3-inch and 1 1/2-inch)
Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork.comii
Health Tip of the Week
Tinnitus: Ringing in Your Ear Really Comes From Your Brain
Uncontrolled ringing, buzzing, or whooshing in your ear can seriously interfere with your quality of life. Just ask Jeff Grace, who has tinnitus.
“Tinnitus can be frightening, painful, irksome, isolating, stressful, overwhelming, depressing, distracting, and annoying,” said Grace, a 41-year-old California native who works as aa fitness trainer and coach.
Grace, who’s had tinnitus for nearly 5 years, said the condition affects his general well-being and is mentally draining.
“My ears are always filled with a high-pitched ringing noise that doesn’t seem to go away. It follows me around all day long, almost like a constant background hum. It can occasionally be more obvious, particularly in calmer settings, which makes it difficult to focus or relish peaceful periods,” he said, adding that he’s tried many ways to manage his tinnitus. “Steering clear of anything that might aggravate my tinnitus is ineffective. If the trigger is a loud noise, it’s not always feasible to avoid that.”
Tinnitus can also sound like roaring, hissing, humming, clicking, or squealing, and can vary in volume and pitch. It may be constant or happen every once in a while. You may also hear more sound when you move parts of your body.
According to the American Tinnitus Association, more than 25 million Americans have some form of the disorder, and about for about 5 million people, it’s chronic.
New Research, New Hope
A new study from Harvard University’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear offers groundbreaking insight into the role the brain plays in tinnitus – and its surprising significance.
A research team led by Stéphane F. Maison, PhD, an audiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, found that chronic tinnitus was not only linked to a loss of the auditory nerve, but also hyperactivity in the brainstem.
In their study, published in the journal Nature, people in the study showed normal results on a conventional hearing test, despite tinnitus symptoms. “But we know that does not tell the whole story,” Maison said.
Why is this?
“If you were in a car accident and lost your leg, you might experience phantom pain – the sensation that your leg is still there and causing discomfort,” he said. “This happens because your brain is trying to compensate for the loss, and in doing so, it becomes hyperactive, so you feel something that is not really there.”
The same idea applies to tinnitus, he said. “We can use the same idea – the brain of a person with hearing loss is trying to ‘hear’ something that is not there, which can result in perceived sound.”
The good news: The team’s research may be able to provide a specific way to diagnose tinnitus. “There’s no test for tinnitus as a chronic condition, so what we are also trying to do is improve testing so it can be useful in a clinical setting and be useful in terms of treating these patients in the future.”
This means that a patient who is diagnosed with a condition that is linked to tinnitus now may not need to deal with the symptom indefinitely.
“The hope is to regrow auditory fibers that have been lost through drug therapy,” Maison said. “The consequence of that could be that by ‘retraining’ the brain through treatment, we can reduce tinnitus.”
What are the Causes of Tinnitus?
According to data from Yale Medicine, this damage can come from something as minor as earwax buildup, or it can result from a disease or disorder, such as:
- Neurological issues, including a head injury
- Cardiac disease
- An infection in your ear or sinuses
- An inner ear disorder
- Ear and sinus infections/pressure
- High cholesterol
- Thyroid conditions
- Hormone shifts
- Temporomandibular joint disorder
- A side effect or reaction to prescription drugs
Circulatory problems can also cause tinnitus. A vascular condition that lessens blood flow in your body, for example, can cause a rhythmic sound called pulsatile tinnitus. Austrian researchers also point to aging as a key risk factor for tinnitus.
Many patients find that stress makes their tinnitus worse and, like Grace, find that loud sounds make it worse.
How Is Tinnitus Triggered?
Any of the conditions that tinnitus is linked to can damage the body’s auditory system.
“Nobody knows exactly where tinnitus originates in the brain,” said Tina Huang, MD, a neurotologist and assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. “We do know, however, that tinnitus is triggered by hearing loss.”
According to data from Harvard Medical School, sound waves flow to your middle and inner ear. This is where hair cells turn those waves into electrical signals, which then move to your brain’s auditory cortex. If something damages the hair cells, though, your brain doesn’t receive these signals. Instead, abnormal activity happens within your neurons, and you have an auditory illusion: tinnitus.
What Current Treatments for Tinnitus Can Help?
“A doctor can sometimes treat tinnitus with a course of steroids,” says Huang. “Counseling can be very helpful to help patients feel less bothered by it as well.”
Grace has gotten relief this way.
“Cognitive behavioral therapy was a treatment that I found to be effective,” he said. “This kind of counseling alters your perspective and how you respond to tinnitus. I learned some coping mechanisms from my therapist to deal with the stress, anxiety, and depression brought on by my tinnitus.”
Exercising and getting enough sleep have also helped him to keep tinnitus triggers like stress and anxiety at bay, he said.
These treatment options may also be useful:
- Maskers, which are small devices that can lessen the sound you hear
- Hearing aids
- Cochlear implants, if hearing loss along with tinnitus is very severe
- Rest and relaxation. As Huang sums it up: “Mindfulness can also be helpful, as well as getting enough sleep, to decrease the stress that may make tinnitus worse.”
Tip adapted from WebMD.comiii
Copyright (C) 2021. Ballentine Capital Advisors. All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Ballentine Capital Advisors
15 Halton Green Way
Greenville, SC 29607
Ballentine Capital Advisors is a registered investment adviser. The advisory services of Ballentine Capital Advisors are not made available in any jurisdiction in which Ballentine Capital Advisors is not registered or is otherwise exempt from registration.
Please review Ballentine Capital Advisors Disclosure Brochure for a complete explanation of fees. Investing involves risks. Investments are not guaranteed and may lose value.
This material is prepared by Ballentine Capital Advisors for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation or any particular security, strategy, or investment product.
No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve future profits or losses similar to those shown. You should not assume that investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable or equal the investment performance of the past. Past performance does not indicate future results.
Advisory services through Ballentine Capital Advisors, Inc.