The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

March 10, 2013

Life lessons on finding a good advisor

RICHMOND — “Look at our Lords disciples. One denied Him; one doubted Him; one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn’t have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government?”

-Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago

I think about this Mayor Daley quote a lot. I have hired tremendous people, and I have hired some who didn’t work out. Like Jesus, I’ve been denied, doubted and betrayed.  Also like Jesus, I’ve found smart and loyal people who help me get my message out.

There is not a magic formula to hiring good people. Otherwise, only good people would work and the others would be unemployed.

My bestselling book, Life Lessons from the Lottery, gives tips on how someone who comes into a large sum of money can manage it well.

You can translate the tips to fit any aspect of life, where I really see people slip up is getting advice from people who don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

A longtime friend sent an email about a financial product she was going to buy and wondered if she would have to pay a sales charge. Yes, a large one. I’m glad she called, but chided her for not calling me first.

In Life Lessons from the Lottery, I tell people to find an advisor who has worked with more money than they have. If  they win $100 million jackpot, find someone who has worked with clients who have $150 million.

You will find that translates to whatever financial position you are in. I’ve worked with numerous millionaires and at least one billionaire.  It’s easier to help richer people than those struggling to make it. Rich people have more options.

The hardest client I have is an injured person who has a million dollars in injuries, but was hit by a drunk driver who did not have insurance. I try to maximize government benefits, but they don’t have the money to get the help they need.

The best way to get advice is to:

1. Find someone who has more expertise than you do.

2. Not be afraid to ask for help.

3. Follow up on the advice that you are given.

I know a lot about business, but Warren Buffett knows much more. He also has far more money than I do. I do business with Berkshire Hathaway in structured settlements, and everyone says Warren is easy to talk to. If I finally meet Warren, my questions will be ready. He has great expertise, and I want to learn from him.

Too many people ignore expertise in seeking advisors. They hire a friend from church or a buddy from the country club. Often the pal does a mediocre job, and both the friendship and business relationship end.

Be it a medical, financial or car repair concern, I want the best expert I can find.

I’ve used the same accountant, Jimmy Webster in Lexington, for nearly 20 years. Until his daughter joined Webster and Kirk, I didn’t know anything about his family or even if he had one. I just knew that he was a great accountant and charges a reasonable fee.

As they say in the Godfather, “It’s business, not personal.”

Many people have true experts in their universe, but never ask for advice.   

I live next door to a man who owns a large plumbing company. I didn’t want to bother him with a small concern.  Later, after spending thousands on a major problem, I wish I had knocked on his door.

I’m stunned when friends don’t ask me money questions. Acquiring and dispensing knowledge is what I live for. If people would get advice from experts they already know, life would go more smoothly.

What is tough for many people is to follow the advice they are given. I give wonderful advice that gets ignored every day. I try to get people to learn from my mistakes, and they go ahead make the same mistakes anyway.

I’ve blown off plenty of good advice. I thought I was smart and could figure things out on my own.

Wrong.

I’m finally starting to learn. I’m coauthoring a book called Life Lessons from the Golf Course that will be out April 9th. When I met my coauthor, PGA professional Clay Hamrick, I stopped buying golf books and let him be my only  source for golfing advice.

It worked. Clay is a wonderful teacher, and I play better golf than I ever have in my life.

As Mayor Daley said, it’s hard to find good help, but, like Jesus, if you take time cultivating good people, you can truly change the world. Or at least your own world.

Don McNay is the bestselling author of “Life Lessons From the Lottery.”  His new book, Life Lessons From the Golf Course,  coauthored with PGA professional Clay Hamrick, will be released on April 9th,  during the week of the Masters tournament. 

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Bee on the lookout as beekeepers convene

    Summer vacation season is in full swing, and I had the pleasure of spending the last week and a half filling in at the Farm Store while the store manager, Bethany Pratt, got a welcome respite soaking up the beauty of Ireland.

    July 30, 2014

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Cicada-killer wasps are here

    The extension office has received numerous phone calls over the past couple of weeks about large wasps hovering in yards all over the county.
    This insect is called the cicada killer, and despite its aggressive name, it is not something to be scared of.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Converting from year-round calving to a controlled breeding season

    Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers.
    Uniform, heavier and more valuable calves are key reasons to keep the breeding season short.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Nostalgia-Glenmore.jpg Paper boys learned life, business lessons

    I often flash back to the days from the mid to late 1930s when I was a paper boy.
    There were 10 or 12 of us who rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. every day, jumped on our bicycles and headed downtown to the Glyndon Hotel and picked up our papers for delivery.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg Here’s why teachers aren’t paid enough

    The following were included in last year’s exams and were answered by 16-year-old high school students. The answers are genuine, and we must remember that these youngsters will grow up to vote, marry and become parents. It’s a scary thought.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 4-H Entries 1.jpg 4-H exhibits are family affair for the Houstons

    Five children from the same family were the first to bring their 4-H exhibits Wednesday to the Madison County Fairgrounds.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • Dr-Jack-Rutherford.jpg Warning labels needed on energy drinks

    The popularity of energy drinks has soared since they entered the marketplace, but at least one consumer group wants the FDA to order warnings on product labels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donna-Moberly.jpg Full Gospel ‛Back to School Bash’ is Aug. 2

    Hello everyone.
    I guess everyone is asking, “How much rain did we get?”

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Katie-Rollins.jpg Thank the Lord for the rain

    Hello readers, it’s a stormy Monday evening as I write this, and I’ve been thanking the Lord all day for the good rain – over an inch in the gauge now, and it looks like more before morning.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo