Advice Not Taken…

“Joe” was suffering from a pretty bad tooth ache, so he called his wife (who’s not a dentist) and asked her what he should do.  She told him to call the dentist.  But Joe decided to look up “tooth aches” online to see what remedy he should apply.  He tried Orajel, and that seemed to cure the pain.  Joe continued to use Orajel numbing ointment for almost a year until “crack”…the nerve under his molar seemed to explode.  After paying his huge dental bill for an even more painful extraction and implant, Joe learned to go to a professional dentist to seek help with his teeth…not the web or his wife.

Joe’s CPA told him to form a new corporate entity, take an income, write off the depreciable pieces of equipment, and keep better records of his transactions.  Joe used Turbo-tax on April 14th at 11:00PM to “hammer out his taxes.”  Joe missed the opportunity to “legally” keep $10,000 extra within his ownership…instead paying it to the IRS.  Did Joe actually save money by doing his taxes himself?

Joe planned a vacation to the island of Hawaii.  His vacation planner warned him of the heavily infested mosquito population in the Waipio Valley on the Northern Shores of the Big Island.  Joe had been around mosquitoes before and knew he was too tough to worry about that little insect.  Joe returned from his trip all scabbed up from scratching the hundreds of mosquito bites that covered his body.  “I guess the trick of eating garlic didn’t work!”

If you’ve ever asked yourself why doctors, attorneys, CPAs, teachers, consultants, advisors, and experts charge money (and sometimes an exorbitant amount of money) for their services, it’s because the cost of NOT following their advice will typically cost many multiples more.  And while it is certainly possible for you to learn so much about a subject area that you feel competent enough to make critical decisions, have you studied up on similar cases outside of your personal experience?  Are you current with all the new techniques, legalities, and trends?

I guess that I’m writing on this subject out of my own personal observation; that no matter how much I work with my clients’ taxes, finance, insurance products, estate planning, and investments, I still frequently consult with other professionals for advice within their specific expertise.  I, and most of you, simply do not have the time to “become” an expert in every facet of life.  Unfortunately, we may learn (or know) just enough to become ‘dangerous’ to our own detriment!

Since we all have a little bit of “Joe” in us, it is important to remember that advice is worthless unless it is implemented.  Human nature makes us second guess many opportunities because our emotions impact our decision making process.  People generally fear change, and do not like risking the unknown.  Hopefully, a trusting relationship between you and the professionals you work with play to your advantage, and pay greater dividends than you perceive them to cost.  Like the old auto mechanic says, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later!”