‘Tis the Season to be…Fearful?

Earlier this week, I was engaging in the nightly ritual of moving the Elf on the Shelf to a new location. As the tale goes, he had flown back to the North Pole overnight and reported to Santa whether my children were naughty or nice that day. Given my boys are now 16, 14 and 12, there’s a whole lot of not so nice around here and long gone is the fear that Ruckert the Elf is going to tell Santa about it. At best, my youngest is humoring me by even looking for the Elf each morning.

It got me thinking about what we all know as the “fear tactic”, most often used with children, to get them to do or act in a way which we desire…

  • Behave nicely or Santa won’t bring you any toys.
  • Eat your vegetables or you won’t grow big and strong.
  • And let’s not forget about Pinocchio and his nose.  

But let’s face it, kids aren’t the only targets of the fear tactic. If it’s a subject area I know little or nothing about (like car maintenance for example), I could be “told and sold” just about anything. After all, they’re the experts, right?

Well the financial services industry is no different. There are folks out there trying to instill fear to get you to take action. And not always, but often, that action is favorable to them in some way.

Tid bits you may hear along the way, such as…

  • Do YOU know your 401(k) balance after recent market volatility? 
  • Are you afraid of outliving your money?  

and my personal favorite….

  • Don’t let the nursing home take all of your hard earned cash. Come see us before it’s too late!

Fear Tactic…

The point is, when it comes to financial decisions, making a rash decision to DO or BUY or CHANGE anything out of fear is often met with regret down the road. You have some time… to ask questions and understand, to plan according to your needs and to make a decision from a place of knowledge and clarity.

I wish I could say the same for my car maintenance!