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Two autism diagnoses made this planner reprioritize

When my two boys were toddlers, they were diagnosed with autism. Raising them — along with my daughter — has not only made me grow as parent, but has also made me a better financial advisor. Over the last 19 years I’ve learned some important lessons from parenting that have also benefited my business.

Find Your Why
In our jobs as planners, we ask clients about their “Why.” My own why became crystal clear when my triplets were born. Planning was no longer just about accumulating wealth; it was about accumulating wealth for a very specific reason. I needed to make sure my children would be cared for, even when I was no longer there. When I help my clients focus on their top priorities, instead of market ups and downs, they know exactly what their planning stands for and sleep better at night.

Focus On What You Can Control
I could not control that I was suddenly responsible for not one — but three — babies. I could not control that my boys were diagnosed with autism. I could not control that there was no cure. But I could control how I reacted to these circumstances. Today, I talk to my clients about how no one can forecast or control what the market will do, but we can control how we react to it. Instead of focusing on unpredictable market changes, we home in on their specific goals.

Let Go and Live in the Moment
For some, putting their trust in others is not something that comes naturally. I had to learn to put my faith in others so that my boys could go away to school, and that my daughter could go away to college. I had to entrust their well-being to others and learn to let go.

Charles Massimo is the president and founder of CJM Wealth Management and the father of triplets.

It can be difficult for investors to put their trust in an advisor and let go, but I urge investors to partner with an advisor they trust and let the advisor’s expertise and knowledge carry them during the rough times. Let go of your concerns, and live your best life without too many worries. Trust me — 19 years went by in a flash — so make sure you take the time to enjoy the people around you and live in the moment.

As a business owner and a parent, I’m still learning. There’s no handbook for either of these parts of my life. But understanding my why, focusing on what I can control and putting my faith in others to lend a helping hand when I need it has made all the difference.

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