Elephants are magnificent creatures, aren’t they? Large, loyal, united by long memories and part of complex families, they exude power and presence (and sometimes a hint of danger!)
At some point or another for most of us, our emotions — about our personal lives and our professional careers, about our family ties and individual goals — can resemble an elephant. And while many financial advisors tend to suggest their clients ignore their “elephant” when it comes to developing investment plans, we prefer another way of looking at our emotions. We value the role they play in helping to inform and guide our decisions about money. We embrace the elephant’s drive and instinct — but then we also include the “rider.”
Those who work with elephants know and respect the power elephants wield in the animal world. Riders embrace this knowledge and engage in calm and measured ways to develop a partnership that enables them to accomplish myriad tasks with these impressive beings. A rider also possesses the ability to think with foresight and strategy to get where she ultimately wants to go.
We first encountered the popular “elephant and rider” metaphor in the work of Jonathan Haidt, the author of “The Happiness Hypothesis”, and in the book “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath. It resonated with us since we at The Humphreys Group believe our values and goals, which are often tied to our emotions, provide spark and direction to our financial decisions.
Furthermore, we believe our personal histories, professional experiences and future ambitions all contribute valuably to our financial planning — now and for the future. To ignore these elements negates the power and impact of important lessons we have learned, feelings we’ve embraced, values we’ve defined and goals we have set for ourselves.
Haidt and the Heath brothers observe that a rider may suffer from hesitation, slowed down by cautious thoughts and over-analysis of the issues and challenges she faces. But when she begins to work with the elephant, the result is a winning and well-balanced team — a team that combines robust energy and enthusiasm with considerate planning and direction to accomplish their goals.
We believe both your head and your heart have a place in your financial planning and investments. To discuss how we can help you can engage your unique “elephant and rider” and approach your financial future with a positive spirit — and in ways that combine emotion and strategy — contact the advisors at The Humphreys Group today.