The Verus Team


Derek Majkowski. Any opinions are those of Derek Majkowski and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Opinions expressed are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

What is most important to you? What are your Priorities?

For some, theseare easy questions to answer. For others, there may be some general thoughts, but no real clear determination or defined primacy. Also priorities are not necessarily constant, and can change over time. It is for these reasons that we spend time discussing and addressing them on a perpetual basis.

As you may imagine in our role, we hear all sorts of comments and thoughts on the topic of priorities as they relate to financial planning. There are some of the common broader ones like – family, health, happiness, and financial independence.

But we also hear more narrow ones like – getting organized, planning / preparing for some event, managing assets and liabilities, or in some cases having no idea whatsoever and in need of help outlining.

Often in our conversations with folks when discussing priorities, we have discovered that those who are in a position to lay out their priorities broadly (i.e. family, health, independence, etc.), generally have already spent some time planning and organizing. Some work has been put into their strategy, and priorities are primarily defined. These are people that feel confident in their purpose, and are often seeking confirmation, or looking for another opinion on their affairs.

In some cases, a life event has occurred that may have some impact on those predetermined priorities. This may warrant some updated work and potentially a reshuffling of resources and / or priorities.Whether it is a longtime client, or someone seeking our services for the first time, the people that spent the time organizing and crafting some strategy are more often conditioned to maintain their focus on their priorities, or better prepared to pivot if events merit. They tend to take on more of a maintenance stance.

For others that are beginning at a narrower directive or focused on defining priorities, the needs are a little different. At the outset, there is usually a heavier workload required. Often, there is more time needed to gather the information, assess a wider range of variables, and take actions in hopes to both establish initial priorities, and create the foundation for future direction and choices.

The initial work can appear daunting and cumbersome, but the process – and ultimately the results – proves to be both helpful and rewarding. In turn, establishing a thoughtful and purposed foundation to future personal events.
This is no different than any other instance when someone is initiating a new task vs. maintaining or adapting an existing one. Take the comparison of someone that is trying to lose weight and get in better physical shape. The energy and change in behavior at the beginning is much harder to embark than after having adjusted behavior for months and years.

It is that first step that is the most important. Once taken, it becomes easier, or one is better prepared to deal with unexpected circumstances and not lose sight of their priorities.

Regardless of where one is with their respective priorities, or if one’s priorities has changed, it’s helpful to define them, and constructive to reconnect with them from time-to-time. Most importantly, we need to make sure that our plan and actions are aligned with them.