Music and financial planning

A monthly financial advice column from S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.

  • Wednesday, September 25, 2019 1:30am
  • Business

By Bob Toomey

Special to the Reporter

^

I’ve been involved in studying and playing music since I was a kid. After begging my parents for guitar lessons for years, my mom finally broke down and let me take guitar lessons at the age of 10. That was the happiest day of my (then) young life: “Wow, maybe someday I could play like the Beatles.” I studied for about four years until high school began at which point studies and sports limited my practice time, so I had to quit taking lessons (dumb move). I played on and off for years after college but did not resume formal studies. As I got older and my musical tastes changed, I developed a strong desire to study the classical guitar and about five years ago started taking classical guitar lessons.

Classical guitar is a very different form or approach to the instrument than rock or jazz. It is a lot more than learning a few chords and strumming. It is my personal opinion that playing the classical guitar really well probably requires more discipline, practice and skill than any other form of guitar (I realize I will catch a lot of flak on that statement). After five years of study, I still feel like a novice (which, for this instrument, I am), but I am enjoying it a lot, learning lots of beautiful music, and feeling like I am achieving something — a life goal.

I believe a critical component to achieving proficiency at a musical instrument, or just about any endeavor at which one wants to do well, requires discipline. What kind of discipline? Discipline to focus. Discipline to practice. Discipline to stick with it and push oneself when learning new techniques that are hard or above one’s current skill level.

The same things apply to many other areas of life including, I believe, financial planning. Why? Financial planning, at least for most people, involves achieving a goal or multiple goals. These could be goals such as a secure retirement, putting children through college, charitable aspirations, or maybe starting one’s own business. One achieves financial goals by developing a plan and having the discipline to stick with the plan.

It involves discipline around expenses and savings.

It involves developing an investment plan and having the discipline to stick with that plan throughout the financial market’s vicissitudes — hat means not trying to time the market or bailing when things look or feel scary.

It involves discipline around a set of financial and/or economic assumptions.

It involves the discipline of reviewing the plan periodically to make sure assumptions in the plan are still valid and one is still on track to achieve one’s goals. Staying disciplined to a good financial plan can bring about many of the same personal rewards and feelings of accomplishment as one would find in a “non-financial” endeavor such as music.

In fact, discipline is important to just about anything in life that makes one’s life better or more productive.

Bob Toomey is vice president and director of research at S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island, with CFP and CFA designations and a background of more than 30 years in the financial industry.

More in Business

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

Winter chill settles into real estate market

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

Why the month of October has bad business reputation

A monthly business column by Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey.

Snoqualmie real estate market transitions into fall

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Music and financial planning

A monthly financial advice column from S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.

Change to U.S.-backed condo loans comes as summer market wraps up

A monthly real estate snap shot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Courtesy photo
                                Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey recently summited Mount Shasta in California.
Financial success and mountaineering | Business advice

The steps to achieving financial success mirror mountain climbing.

Summer real estate heats up, gaining momentum

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

Rates, inventory bring opportunities for buyers

A monthly real estate snap shot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Kailan Manandic / staff photo
                                (From left) Jane Broom, Microsoft Philanthropies senior director, former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, who now serves as CEO of Challenge Seattle, and Charlie Davis, partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, speak on Microsoft’s $500 million commitment to affordable housing at a panel discussion during a Bellevue Downtown Association breakfast.
Microsoft reveals project criteria for $500 million affordable housing funds

The company will soon accept applications for projects related to affordable housing on the Eastside.

‘Dynamic’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

A real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

The data visualized here was compiled from Apartment List’s monthly rent reports. See an interactive chart below. Kailan Manandic / data illustration
Eastside rental market could balance out with the region

Eastside rent medians increased by 2.8 in the past year, a decrease in growth from previous years.