Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is one of the most famous rock songs of all time. Some consider it the greatest song of all time.
Best song ever? I'm not sure but I'll just say this song is definitely up there on the list of great rock songs.
That being said, I can't think of too many times this song was on the radio and I turned it off before the end. Sitting in the car longer than necessary, much to the dismay of my passengers. (Well, my daughter Sarah gets it but I've trained her well from an early age!)
During this song's 8 minutes, it takes you on a wild ride. Starting off slowly and increasing in tempo, through Plant's amazing voice, Page's incredible guitar playing, Jones' keyboard and flute, and Bonham's thunderous drumming, only to then bring you back to the calm place it started.
Many people have tried to decipher the lyrics of this song. Like most songs out there, they can be interpreted in many ways and sometimes it just comes down to what the listener "hears or wants to hear".
I'm not here to analyze the whole song but one line always rang true to me.
"Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on"
Led Zeppelin was right. It's true. You can probably think of a time or two where you made a decision and realized it wasn't the best idea.
This first part rings true for all of us. The real question is, when you realized you were on the "wrong path", how long did it take to "change the road" you were on? And are you still on that wrong path?
Sometimes it is a literal road like the time I was driving to Fairfield, Iowa from the Des Moines airport and saw a sign that said, "Entering Nebraska". It didn't take me long to find a place to pull over and turn around. This was before GPS.
Those are the easy changes to make. The non-literal ones are tougher. For those, many people don't ever make a change.
Now, I'm not saying this is always easy. In fact, it generally isn't.
To quote another lyric from a much different musical group, The Indigo Girl's, Hammer and a Nail, "The sweetest part is acting after making a decision".
So, the first step, is realizing you need to make a change because things aren't working. This could be a relationship issue, a work issue, or a financial issue.
Helping make sure one is on the right "financial path" is where we come in. You see, we sit down with a lot of people and many times we can easily pinpoint these "wrong paths". Folks having too much debt, not saving enough for goals that are important to them, or flaws in their plan that needs fixing.
We have people come to see us from all walks of life. Everyone's situation is different but the one thing that rings true for all, consists of two parts:
- Realizing you want or need to make a change – Led Zeppelin
- Acting on that decision – Indigo Girls
Here's a simple non-financial example:
Let's say you weigh 350 lbs and have trouble climbing a flight of stairs without getting really winded. You go to a doctor. She listens to your heart and lungs and recommends you lose some weight.
Seems like a simple enough "prescription". However, what is simple isn't always easy. Without proper guidance and a proper plan, your chances of success aren't great. Even if you felt you had enough of living this way and decided to follow the Indigo Girl's line, "The sweetest part is acting after making a decision", you need one more piece of the program.
Just being "ready to go" may not be enough. For most people, is walking around the block hard? Probably not. What is hard is doing it consistently. When it is cold or raining or when you are tired.
That's when the 3rd piece comes in. Someone to keep you on track. (For some motivation, check out the video in this week's newsletter about Arthur Boorman)
That's why we are here. For decades we have guided folks and kept them on track to meet their most important financial goals. (We've even helped some with the non-financial ones)
Don't like the path you are on or think maybe there is a better one you should be on?
Give me a call or shoot me an email. And, I'd love to hear what you think is one of the greatest songs ever written. Drop me a line and let me know!
I'm here to help.
All the best.
Rick Fingerman, CFP®
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.