What do fine wine and financial strategies have in common?
Do you love wine? Next question: Are you financially confident? This one is a little harder to answer, right?
To be financially confident means that you feel good about your current financial situation and future outlook. If this sounds like you, you’re a confident planner. Research shows that 23 percent of Americans are Confident Planners when it comes to their financial lives.1 (The remaining 77 percent of Americans are stressed-out, largely due to financial worry.)
In exploring answers to the questions above, you may be surprised to learn that the worlds of wine and financial planning have a lot in common.
The best wines in the world begin with top-quality ingredients. Starting with the land, vintners plant premium grapes in rich, verdant soil. And not all land is of equal value. The Côte de Nuits region of Burgundy is home to some of the most expensive real estate in Burgundy, and maybe anywhere in the wine growing world.2 The land is the first factor in the quality of wine.
For Confident Planners, the same principle holds true for a strong financial plan. One of the best ways to begin is with a plan that includes products like life insurance, disability income insurance, and a retirement strategy.
Improve the harvest over time
Wine lovers know that their favorite vintage doesn’t happen overnight. On the contrary, it’s a long, steady process of planting, growing, harvesting, storing and bottling. Through continually refining their process, vintners can improve their final product. For example, a maker may use machine harvesting in the field, and produce a wine that earns an 85 rating — “very good.” Yet if this maker transitions to harvesting by hand, he’s more likely to earn a coveted 95 rating for “classic” wine excellence.3
Like those high-performing vintners, Confident Planners have model behaviors that can help them optimize outcomes. And like vintners, anyone — Day-to-Day Decision-Makers, Ambitious Spenders, or Retirement Realists — can adopt these practices. One of these behaviors is to work with a financial professional to develop a financial plan. Next, Confident Planners understand that it takes time for a financial plan to come to fruition, just like wine needs time to age. During the process, they live within their means and stick to the long-term plan. They understand that their efforts will pay off in the end, as it will with the vintage.
The master vintner
Think back to a recent occasion when you enjoyed a bottle of wine with friends. Even if the wine was unforgettable, it’s likely no one craved the years-long experience of producing it. Thankfully, there are vintners around the world who begin each season with a harvest plan based on years of experience in the field. Over the course of the year, they gauge the ever-changing factors that may affect the harvest — such as the levels of sun and rain, for example. No growing plan is identical from one harvest to another.
Likewise, there is no one-size-fits-all financial plan for everyone. (You can find out your financial confidence type here.) Confident Planners enlist the experience of financial professionals. By working with a financial professional, they gain a custom plan for their financial future. Additionally, financial professionals help Confident Planners adjust to changes in the market over time.
A discerning palette
Wine enthusiasts can easily sense the difference between vintage Burgundy and “Two Buck Chuck.” For Confident Planners, a difference in financial planning can be just as evident. In both wine and finances, quality inputs, time, and professional guidance can potentially help build a product to savor.