Am I crazy to hate money?
Question: If someone said they would give me $1,000,000, but I had to be responsible for managing it, I would turn it down. I used to own a business that was making good money, but I sold it because I hated handling all the details. Am I crazy to hate money?
Answer: You don’t sound crazy at all.
You sound like a human being. Probably a pretty nice one, too.
By the way, it doesn’t sound like you hate money so much as the details and decisions that surround its care and feeding.
I’ve got a big lawn. For years I asked myself how someone with such limited horticultural skills made the dumb decision to buy a house with so much grass to cut. The kind of yard I want to take care of is about the size of a welcome mat. What I have is enough real estate to run an entire weekend baseball tournament on.
I have a friend whose yard is about the size mine is. But to him, yard work is relaxation. He puffs on a stogy while driving his riding lawn mower back and forth, achieving the instant lawn perfection he loves. To this guy, yard work is therapy.
Me… not so much. Plants die in my presence. Grass turns brown when I approach. The local John Deere dealer could make his car payments off my repair bills. My yard work wasn’t therapy. Rather, I often felt like I needed therapy after I did the yard.
All that changed when Luciano came along. One of my business associates had long spoken of Luciano and his lawn care service. So one day I got his number, called him up and asked, “How much to do my lawn? Not to just cut my grass, but not to make my yard story-book beautiful either. How about just less embarrassing?”
Luciano just said, “Don’t worry. Let me take care of it.”
Fast forward a few years and… I discovered that I love my yard! Southern Living isn’t begging to do a photo shoot of it, but it works for me. The grass is cut, the bushes stay trimmed and there are even flowers planted. Someone else “winterizes” my yard (what does that even mean?). And when trees fall or special projects need to be done, I know who to call.
I’ve got a guy. His name is Luciano. And he’s great.
So, you just need a financial Luciano.
Some people love to do their own lawns. Others love to fix things around the house that break. Others like doing their own interior decorating. Others like doing their own financial planning.
But if any of these areas are absolutely outside your wheelhouse and give you heartburn just to think about, there’s nothing wrong with delegating that responsibility to someone else.
Just avoid two extremes: procrastination and abdication.
Procrastination puts off dealing with the matter. Your grass just gets taller and taller and the bushes become small trees. Or your money just sits there, unattended while you could be making money, paying less taxes or any number of attractive financial alternatives.
Abdication occurs when you think you’ve delegated a task to someone else, but totally remove yourself from the process. Delegation means you don’t take care of all the details, but you are still responsible for the results. To completely step away from a task is to shirk your responsibility to manage a valuable resource.
It’s delegation that you want to do. First, get clear about the outcome you want financially. Then, ask friends you trust for recommendations and interview several candidates to oversee the proper care and feeding of your financial assets. Decide on someone you both like and trust and hand the task to her.
Once you’ve established a relationship, be sure to establish a regular reporting routine to make sure you check up on the results. Without this step, you’re in danger of abdication. Real delegation requires you to circle back and check up on your money and your advisor on a regular basis.
Don’t procrastinate and don’t abdicate. Delegate and inspect.
Time to call Luciano.
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