Balance and planning are key to avoiding big summer setback

By Dave Scranton

Advisors Academy


Often our clients take life – and their investments – a little less seriously this time of year.

It's the best of times, and it can be the worst of times. It's summer, and it’s only human nature to want to really enjoy it – especially if you live in a part of the country where warm weather is fleeting! So this is the perfect season to take some vacation and spend extra time with the family. And we're not the only ones kicking back. Often, our clients take life – and their investments – a little less seriously this time of year.

Now don't get me wrong: I'm a firm believer in enjoying some time off. In fact, I often stress to our advisors how important balance is to maintaining a high level of performance and success in our business. The problem this time of year comes when we disengage too much. Our clients want to push everything off until Labor Day, so we decide that if we can't beat them, we'll join them. Unfortunately, if we simply take the summer months off, our checkbook doesn't look so healthy come September. Once reality hits, it takes another couple of months for transfers to be completed and business to get paid. So that three month layoff effectively turns into five months.

As with most things in life, the key to avoiding the summer doldrums is balance. In other words, enjoy the summer, but don't take your foot completely off the accelerator. With that in mind, this summer I instituted a “90-Day Sprint Plan” for our advisors, running from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The strategy gives them an opportunity to put together a summer business plan and hold themselves accountable to it.

I help in putting the plan together, and with keeping them on track with brief, weekly calls.

Now if you’re thinking it’s too late at this point to institute your own summer plan and stick to it, think again. There’s still a lot of summer left, and a lot of potential to find yourself in a deep hole come autumn. So it’s never too late to start working strategically to avoid that situation.

Even if putting together a summer plan now seems too daunting and you’re feeling a sense of inertia about it, remember how inertia works: It’s like pushing a car. It’s hard at first, but once you gain momentum, it becomes steadily easier to maintain that momentum and even increase speed. That’s speed and momentum you can carry right into fall and continue building on through the end of the year; much better than having to start pushing from a dead stop come Labor Day.

So do enjoy the rest of the summer, but don’t let a lack of planning or diligence make you regret how much you enjoyed it once the days turn cool again. Even now, it’s not too late to get enough pre-fall momentum going to have yourself a record year!