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Acting vs. Taking Action: The Differences in Trust, Confidence, and Guarantees

The path from Actor to Financial Manager is interesting.

I'd be lying if I said that my teenage self could have ever predicted such a drastic change in career path for my adult self.

But what's been even more eye-opening throughout this transition has been how this change in path has inadvertently influenced my overall perception of trust, confidence, and guarantees in life.

Let's Start with Trust.

You see, with acting being a past vocation (I couldn't possibly do anything else), I would sometimes find myself feeling helpless.

Not for any lack of confidence in my craft but because trust had become more of an afterthought within an industry so dependent on other people's decision-making. The people responsible for deciding whether I work or not saw trust as a value to "present" as a nicety, as opposed to anything they genuinely felt needed to be upheld.

If you're in the creative space, you know the feeling.

Constantly being at the mercy of other's whims. The agents, the directors, the producers and other professionals asking you to trust their "gut," their "feedback," their "follow-ups." This inevitably leads to that feeling of surrendering your control over tomorrow, with no apparent objective beyond "just have faith." An industry trait one friend once referred to as "trust me, bro" logic. But what is trust if the ask rarely comes with anything substantive to back it up?

As a Licensed and Certified Financial Manager, on the other hand, what is being asked of me daily has very little room for "trust me bro" within it.

The objectives must be clear, the obstacles are measurable, and most importantly, the actual trust value is in the raw data.

Trust is no longer an optional nicety, dependent on idyllic promises. Instead, when we take action, the objective is to empower you and help you better measure the distance from your goals and understand your data.

Ironically, the Financial world had a "trust building" course to offer me.

I would spend hours learning lessons such as "maintain symmetrical gestures below the armpits" and "sustain eye contact." All aimed at fostering an aura of reliability. I couldn't help but think of (bless their hearts) bad acting teachers.

But even after those "lessons," there remains no substitute for numbers, as trust becomes more measurable and, arguably, tangible through data.

Which Brings Me to Confidence.

A study by Russell Investments quantified the added value of financial advice. This research examined the contributions of Canadian advisors such as myself and identified the distinct elements that contribute to their clients' economic gains.

To simplify, it had determined that Canadian advisors contributed an added 3.9% worth of annual return, with the breakdown revealing intriguing components:

  1. Active Rebalancing of Investment Portfolios (0.17%): Adjusting investment portfolios strategically to optimize returns.

  2. Behavioral Coaching (1.95%): Guiding clients through emotional decisions, promoting sound financial behaviors.

  3. Customized Planning (1.1%): Tailoring financial strategies to individual aspirations and circumstances.

  4. Tax-Smart Planning & Investing (0.68%): Implementing tax-efficient strategies to enhance overall returns.

Now I know what some of you will be saying to yourselves after reading those numbers.

"A financial institution conducted this research. How can I trust these numbers?"

Fair skepticism, so allow me to provide an anecdote.

Kawhi Leonard has the confidence to make difficult shots under pressure.

Much like most of us by a certain age within our chosen profession, the confidence to get the job done has become so inherent to his daily mindset that even with seemingly not enough time on the clock and two defenders in front of him, performing his job (getting buckets) was never not an option.

But this core belief of confidence in performing challenging tasks didn't come through the sole practice of "self-belief" (though it helps) or rehearsing in a mirror. This confidence wasn't purely riding on the accolades from his peers or even "finding the right agent."

No, this confidence resulted from the hundreds of made practice shots the night before, with coaches drilling him over and over on the mechanics of his shooting style and showing him the raw data from each minute adjustment he made.

That confidence came from mastering the fundamentals and understanding the odds in front of him. He earned his teammates and Toronto's trust by putting numbers on the scoreboard.

Now, while I don't have the size of hands that would ever earn me the nickname "The Claw," nor do I plan on allowing Uncle Dennis to convince me to move to California anytime soon, what I do have is data-driven practice and game time results.

Hundreds of shots taken under pressure for my clients who believe in my ability to understand the challenges in front of them, interpret the data accurately and apply the fundamentals of the game over and over again.

So, Let's Talk Guarantees.

How often have any of us who have ventured into the creative space believed in a "guarantee" that was never actionable?

How often have we, as humans, fallen prey to a false dawn?

One of the most effective regulations surrounding financial professionals is that I cannot (and would never!) promise rates of return.

I cannot guarantee you a reality that does not exist.

What I can do, however, is establish and stay true to the three cornerstones of my practice:

  1. I guarantee that I can help you better identify your goals and potential hurdles so that we can strategize with and optimize from the data in front of us.

  2. I guarantee that if I don't know the answer to a question, I won't pretend to – when relevant, I will refer you to someone who does.

  3. I guarantee that every decision we make together will be in your best interest and unaffected by institutional agendas.

In short, I guarantee to keep you aligned with your objectives without asking you to surrender control of your tomorrow.

A guarantee that can help you feel more empowered over your and your family's future.

As an Actor (or any creative), success often relies on the perception of trust, the illusion of confidence, and the hollow feedback of "being nice," with no guarantees of credit for your contributions.

As your Financial Manager, "trust," "confidence," and "guarantee" mean something to me, and I'm here to use action to make sure they mean something to you, too.

And hey, if you're curious about taking control of your financial future and experiencing the power of data-driven decisions, let's start a conversation about your financial goals and how I can help you achieve them.

Contact me today for a complimentary consultation and personalized financial insights.

Together, we can work towards your more secure and empowered tomorrow.

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