Physicians: Don’t “Google” Your Financial Symptoms

Don’t “Google” your symptoms. We have all done it, even though we’ve been told not to, and although it’s typically said as a lighthearted warning, it’s actually really good advice.

We recognize how much value technology has added to our everyday lives, however, having information at our fingertips on demand can be both a blessing and a curse.

Physicians are especially impacted by this, because they are responsible for fully assessing each patient’s unique situation, and providing a suggested course of action based on their professional knowledge and expertise. A physician who seeks to improve a patient’s physical or mental wellness, is a lot like a wealth manager who seeks to improve a client’s financial wellness. In fact, below are four striking parallels with the work of physicians and professional financial advisors.

1. Understanding the Issue.
First and foremost, both physicians and advisors must understand the person they’re serving so that they can fully assess their situation. Once a plan of action has been established, our role is to monitor the person’s situation, evaluate whether or not the original plan remains appropriate, and help the person maintain the discipline required for the plan to work as intended.

2. Managing Emotions.
Just as physicians are inundated with patients “Googling” their symptoms, and showing up to their appointments flustered and sometimes even panicked, advisors tend to experience similar conversations with clients triggered by news reports, or by misinformed or unqualified sources. Without the help of a trusted professional, the self-medicating investor might overreact to market volatility, or take unnecessary risks. Similarly, a self-medicating patient might put their own health in jeopardy by trying remedies that worked for a friend, or taking over the counter drugs to solve a problem that requires prescription medication.

3. Putting Out Fires.
So often wealth managers are responsible for correcting financial problems that were made either by some bad advice given to clients from an inexperienced professional, or by the client themselves. Many investors feel they can “do it themselves,” without realizing the intricacies of putting together a well-diversified portfolio, managing risk, and incorporating tax strategies. At the same time, we meet with investors who have put off financial planning for so long that they’re behind the ball. We have to design a plan that helps them play “catch up” with their savings and investments. Physicians often deal with the same “do it yourself” patients, who have tried to self-medicate – and got it wrong. They are also tasked with healing patients who simply put off their visit for so long that the ignored illness or ailment worsened, or created a whole host of new issues.

4. Job Satisfaction.
On the positive side, improving someone’s financial health or their physical health certainly provides a level of achievement and satisfaction. Knowing that we have impacted our clients and patients’ lives in some way is what keeps us coming back for more every day. It’s also what pushes us to continue our education, and to consistently strive to improve ourselves and our services.

At CJM, we recognize these parallels, and provide comprehensive solutions to our family of successful physician clients. Just as you warn your patients not to take to the internet with their symptoms, we warn our clients not to “Google” their financial symptoms. Our goal is to help clients pursue their unique financial goals, and to have a positive, human-focused experience along the journey.

If you have any questions regarding CJM’s philosophy, or would like to schedule a complimentary call to discuss your financial future, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 631.777.1030 or at info@cjmwealth.com.

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