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While I was reading a Patrick O’Brian novel, I got to thinking, who is the captain of my ship? A few years ago, my answer might have been a bank, or a combination of utility companies, but now the answer is me. After two weeks of very serious posts, I figured you guys could use a nice respite with a seafaring analogy.
There are a lot of people out there who want to run your financial ship. Most of them want to take your ship to their ports an unload the cargo, and many will if you give them the opportunity. It’s easy to let the boat steer itself, until disaster is about to strike. You need a confident, courageous, and above all, intelligent person at the helm.
There will be times where you get blind-sided by storms. The world of finance isn’t kind enough to give you a red sky in the morning. What will you do when you run upon hard times? Do you have any plans? Do you have any experience? What are some of the things that can happen?
Who Depends On you?
Captains are the heads of their vessels, but there are far more people on the ship than him, and they trust him. Who trusts you? Who depends on you to make the right decisions when they aren’t looking or unable to understand what’s going on? It’s important to understand you shouldn’t put your crew into more danger just because they don’t know what’s going on outside.
In many instances, the crew must blindly trust the captain because of his experience, and his knowledge. It’s impossible for any one person to handle everything in a relationship, and if you’re the financial captain, you’re being entrusted to be a good steward of everything placed into your hands.
What is Pride’s Role?
What is pride’s role in your command? Will you take unnecessary risk because you’re too proud to admit that you were wrong? There are many ships at the bottom of the sea that were captained by men like that. What would you do if you were way off course because of your judgement call?
What if your life savings was lost because you invested in a sure thing, that turned out to be not so sure? How would you respond? With anger? Would you cut your losses or try to put more in? Would you let your crew know you were wrong, or would you try to keep it from them?
Can You Be A Captain?
I believe that everyone is capable of being a captain, but some just aren’t ready or willing. If you aren’t ready or willing, will your spouse be willing? What about splitting the duties? I believe splitting the duties is one of the best options because it allows more transparency in your finances.
Who Is Your Financial Captain?
Who runs your financial ship? If it is anyone outside of your family, or a financial advisor (who should really only advise, not captain), then you’ve got a serious problem. In all honesty, your ship is basically being run by pirates at that point who care nothing for you other than to take every piece of eight from your coin purse.
Being a captain has its advantages, but it comes with many more responsibilities and worries than many might consider. If your ship is free-wheeling, then you’ve got some quick decisions to make, are you your financial captain?