What The Emmys Can Teach Us About Financial Planning

I’ll ‘fess up and admit I didn’t watch the whole thing—instead I scared myself so much watching Wallander that I was afraid to take the dog out. However, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the dresses on the New York Times’ Style app this morning. So I’ll try to link to specific examples.

If you’re going naked, you probably should be under 35.

Naked was a big look at the Emmys (isn’t it always), but this time it was transparent, or what passed for it. I thought Zooey Deschanel looked great. Similarly, if you’re going naked in investments (i.e. all stocks) you should be very young—enjoy the benefits and the risks while you can.

No matter that you were once a cute young thing, at some point it’s time to revise your style.

There’s a point where fresh has an expiration date. As you move through the decades, you need to tone done the risk and get some sophistication. Jessica Lange, I love you but you need sleeves. Or maybe, bonds.

No matter how good it looked on paper, make sure it’s right for your individual situation.

The dress shouldn’t wear you (Julianna Margulies). Your goals should drive the investment plan, no matter what the latest investment guru formula says.

Take a long, hard look at who you really are.

I hope Christina Hendricks decides to get a second opinion in the future. There’s a difference between sexy and porn queen. No one should squeeze you into an investment situation that’s not right for your individual needs. Get professional help, and then think critically about the advice.

Some styles are timeless.

This vintage Valentino on Gretchen Mohl would have looked great in 1960, 1970, 1980, or Pericles’s Athens. Don’t fall for the currently fashionable crap: my best candidates for that category are hedge funds, managed futures, non-traded REITS, …I’ll never run out. Run, as soon as you hear the words “this time it’s different”. No, it’s not, whether it’s good taste or good investments.

Act on what you say you believe.

Between the recent Jay Leno appearance and the Emmys, I’ve seen way more of Amy Poehler’s boobs than I ever needed to. C’mon, she’s a middle aged mom, reasonably intelligent comedienne, and runs an organization to encourage girls to have positive body images. And this is what she wears? If you say you believe in passive managed index mutual funds, why is your portfolio filled with “hot” managers and individual stocks? You know better, don’t you? And, BTW, don’t completely lose your dignity when getting a divorce.

I could go on—get a decent dye job, not one that looks like India ink; don’t open your shirt past your chest hair if you have a wrinkly neck (that one’s for the guys), etc., but I’ve already used up my catty allotment for today. Meow.

About the author

Danielle L. Schultz, CFP®, CDFA

Danielle L. Schultz, the principal financial planner of Haven Financial Solutions, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a NAPFA-registered Financial Advisor, and a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Illinois. She studied financial planning at Northwestern University’s Certified Financial Planner™ certification program. She also holds a Series 65 license (Registered Investment Advisor Representative) and a CCPS (Certified College Planning Specialist).

She writes a regular column for Better Investing magazine and is currently working on a revision of their mutual funds handbook. In addition to academic training and professional experience, Ms. Schultz has personally managed Social Security, Medicare, retirement and long-term care issues; college funding concerns; and cash flow and transition planning in self-employment and divorce situations. Her social work background gives her an innovative perspective on financial planning issues; for her, financial planning is not only about money, but also a key component in a satisfying and well-lived life.

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