The Things You Didn't Do - Kris Carroll, Carroll Financial
May 27, 2021

The Things You Didn’t Do

Spring 2021 Quarterly Newsletter

Author: Kristopher W. Carroll, CFA®, CFP®

I came across this quote recently: “No, is a complete sentence.” Whether the quote is attributed to Susan Gregg, Anne Lamott or another author, the quote really stands out to me. We often forget that there is no need to make excuses. Instead, you can simply say “No” or “No, thank you” and just move on. So, what does this have to do with finance? I think that sometimes the best financial decisions are not the investments we make, but those that we choose not to make.

I think this is particularly true when markets are at or near all-time highs. Investors often start listening to the greedy voices inside their heads or they become afraid that they will miss out on the next hot investment. Whether it is cryptocurrency, green energy or just the idea of taking more risk in your retirement account because the returns are so good right now, be careful about the little voice that tells you to depart from an established, long-term plan. Just say no.

After all, for many families saying no was the key to building their nest eggs, such as saying no to a bigger house that you do not need, overly extravagant vacations, new cars, lake houses or that boat that you really cannot afford. Your nest egg was probably built as much by the things you chose not to do as it was by the saving you did. I often find myself in the position of saying no to a client. In fact, I think I may have one or two clients that avoid asking my opinion because they do not want to hear me advise against anything. But what’s funny is that I end up on the other side of that conversation as well. I have many clients who have gotten so used to saying no to expenses that I end up being more of a “Yes Man” and have to encourage them to spend.

I think the ability to say no is also important to retirees. My mother is guilty of agreeing to help or serve on many committees and later asks, “Why didn’t I just say, no?” Sorry Mom! I think saying no to things can make you a happier person. I know saying no is one of the keys to financial stability and financial success. So, I want to encourage you to go out and say “No” or be polite and say “No, thank you” if that feels better.

This article was featured in our Spring 2021 Quarterly Newsletter available here:

Quarterly Newsletter
Share This
Skip to content