Many years ago, when I was a much younger man, I had the dream (more like a delusion :-)) of becoming a rock star. I had taken piano lessons as a child and wanted to build on that base, so I decided to enroll in classes for classical piano and classical guitar (I had assumed that studying classical music would make me a much better all around musician).

Roughly the same time I began my studies the movie Amadeus made its debut. The movie was about the life and times of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (you know, one of those famous, dead composers from long ago) and the rivalry between him and Antonio Salieri. Though a great composer in his own right, Salieri is depicted as an fellow composer who is extremely jealous of Mozart’s God given musical talents. At the end of the movie, Salieri resigns himself to the fact that he was never a great composer and declares that he represents all of the mediocrities of the world.

Sadly, as depicted in the movie, I was able to relate to Salieri’s character. Though I was technically proficient as a musician, I discovered that I never had “it” — that God given musical talent that certain people possess. Thus, I gave-up my goals of becoming a famous musician and decided to follow more humble pursuits — like this Web site, for example. 😉

The moral to this painful trip down memory lane is this: There are many people working in various professions who are only mediocre (or worse) at what they do for a living. That is okay if you are simply hiring someone to trim your hedges; after all, if they do a poor job, the hedges will always grow back in.  If, however, you rupture a disc in your back (as was my own, personal, experience last year) and you need someone to perform spinal surgery to repair the problem, well then, you are only going to want the very best person available for the job. The same holds true for your personal finances.

Given the importance that money plays in our everyday lives, it is critical to keep watch over one’s own finances and investments, even if —especially if — others are tasked with the responsibility of managing your finances for you. In other words, one’s personal finances and investments should be treated like a business and all those involved need to be held accountable. In the final analysis, no one is more responsible for your financial future than you! Though some time and effort will be required for such pursuits, it is time well spent and effort well placed.

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