Cents & Sensibility — Remember to be kind

Beth Peabody

Last month’s column identified key actions to take early in the year by focusing on “what not to do” regarding financial decisions. The goal was to inspire readers to make plans for 2023 to alleviate potential stress throughout the year.

For this month’s column, I point to The Record’s February 16th edition which included a commentary written by Father Thomas Gentile regarding Catholic youth sports. I was especially moved by his remarks regarding coaches and what he thinks good coaches have in common. He wrote, “they are all respected because they have conducted themselves in a manner that deserves respect.”

His writing continued with examples of incidences “where fans scream at coaches, players and opponents in criticism.” As a one-time basketball player, coach and parent of girls who played at all levels, I too have witnessed such bad behavior. In fact, at a recent Catholic girls’ high school basketball game versus a talented public school team, two six-year-old boys cheering for the Catholic school stood on the bleachers and screamed at the referees for four full quarters. Meanwhile, the parents thought it was funny. This makes no “sense” to me.

Showing respect to others who are only trying to do their best should also be a goal for your advisors. Most often you trust accountants, insurance, legal and investment professionals because of their reputation, skillset and dedication to serve.

However, there may be times when you are upset with these professionals, especially if they are the bearer of news you may not expect and may not want to hear. For example, your accountant may identify something that causes you to pay more taxes. This can be frustrating, in addition to having to pay an invoice for this service.

Your life insurance or long-term care premiums may be higher this year and you might be bothered by the increase. Attorneys charge by the hour and when you receive the bill you might question the charges. And finally, your investment advisor will probably give you bad news regarding performance for 2022. Meanwhile, they received a fee to produce these results. This might also cause some resentment.

Just as Father Gentile mentioned that good coaches are respected because they have conducted themselves in a manner that deserves respect, please pay heed to this as you review relationships with your professionals. If they have served you well over the years and have worked to have a good relationship with you, trust them to act in your best interest and treat them with respect.

If you are uncertain about something, ask them directly about your concerns rather than simmer with disappointment. A good professional welcomes the opportunity to provide input regarding their guidance and, in turn, this can deepen the professional relationship. If their advice has been meaningful and positive, make sure to thank them for their efforts.

The action for this month is to be kind to your trusted professionals. In the words of famed Major League Baseball manager Sparky Anderson:

“What you really gotta do is treat everybody right. Every person out there is a child of God. Ain’t no one person more special than anyone else. God likes to see all of His children happy. If you wanna make God happy, just go out and make His children feel good. It doesn’t cost a nickel to be nice to people. It’s something you can give away for free and it means more than a million dollars.”

This advice makes cents and seems sensible to me.

Beth Stegner Peabody, CEO of Stegner Investment Associates, is a graduate of St. Agnes School and Sacred Heart Academy. Previous Cents & Sensibility columns may be viewed at therecordnewspaper.org/editorials-commentary/.

The Record
Written By
The Record
More from The Record
Grief to Growth
event to discuss
gun violence victims
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day St. Bartholomew Church,...
Read More
0 replies on “Cents & Sensibility — Remember to be kind”