This post was authored by Salvatore M. Capizzi, Dunham's Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. If you have questions concerning today's topic, please call us at (858) 964 - 0500. Hold us to higher standards.

This ain't my first rodeo
This ain't the first time this ol' cowboy's been thrown
This ain't the first I've seen this dog and pony show
This ain't my first rodeo

Song by Vern Gosdin

Well, it was My First Rodeo.

Picture me, Brooklyn born and raised, attending the renowned Reno Rodeo for the first time. The "Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West!" was an eye-opening adventure.

Upon entering the arena, a wave of unfamiliar scents enveloped me. The earthy aroma of well-trodden dirt mingled with the musky scent of livestock. The distinct combination of leather from cowboy boots, saddles, and hats lingered in the air.

And I still remember the comforting whiffs of grilled food—smoky BBQ, roasting sweet corn, and the sugary aroma of cotton candy wafting from the concession stands. These smells helped ease my disappointment at the absence of New York style pizza.

Cowboys and cowgirls, adorned in traditional gear, dazzled under the floodlights. Stetson hats, checkered shirts, leather chaps, and bandanas were all part of the enchanting spectacle.

So Why Did I Feel Anxious, Nervous, and Uneasy?

Yet, despite these captivating sights, sounds, and smells, I could not shake my anxiety, nervousness, and unease.

Observing the Cowboys' intense struggle to tame the mighty and unpredictable Bulls and Broncos during their grueling eight-second ride filled me with tension. I could sense the cowboys' fear of falling before a boisterous crowd. Throughout it all, the cowboys had to remain laser-focused, their minds juggling strategies and reactions, their bodies mirroring the stress.

Strangely, these emotions felt strangely familiar.

Welcome to the Rodeo of the Financial Services Industry.

It struck me how this entire experience served as a microcosm for life in the financial services industry. The life of a financial advisor carries its own exhilarating stress. The marketplace becomes their rodeo arena, with the wild, bucking bronco symbolizing the volatile market.

Every shift in economic conditions can potentially unsettle even the most carefully constructed portfolio, just like an unexpected move from the bronco can unseat a cowboy.

The financial year's ticking clock can feel like an eight-second ride, where long-term success often hinges on short-term outcomes. Besides, advisors must maintain focus and adaptability, adjusting their strategies to counter market fluctuations.

So How Do You Remain Composed?

So, how can we keep our composure amid the chaotic rodeos of our line of work? How can we ensure that we genuinely enjoy the ride?

It starts with finding moments of laughter, continuous learning, self-care, and nurturing social connections. Financial advisors can take steps to unwind and reduce stress in various ways. I have taken the time to explore stress-relieving techniques and adapted them to our industry.

I hope you find these strategies valuable in alleviating some of the stress that comes with our business. Embrace our noble profession and prepare yourself for an exhilarating journey toward self-motivation and inner peace.

So, saddle up and enjoy the joy ride!

Financial High-Fives

Celebrate every closed deal or satisfied client with a high-five...even if it's to yourself. This simple act of celebration releases positive endorphins and keeps your mood buoyant. As they say, positivity begets success!

Caffeine and Coins

Start your mornings with your preferred cup of Starbucks and a check on the markets. The caffeine jump-starts your body, while the market analysis kick-starts your mind. It's a perfect pairing to start a successful day.

Mission-based Afternoon Tea

While taking an afternoon tea break, decide on one client whose financial future you will brighten that late afternoon. Imagine their reaction when they see their growing wealth – if that is not two lumps of motivation, what is?

Artful Aspirations

Take some time every week to indulge in an artful pursuit, be it painting, pottery, or playing a musical instrument. This creative outlet can provide much-needed relief from numbers and nurture your imaginative side, which, believe it or not, can be handy when devising financial strategies!

Zen and Zeroes

Practicing mindfulness or meditating for a few minutes daily can help alleviate stress and keep your mind clear for effective decision-making. Let your mind rest among the sea of numbers for a while. Remember, sometimes, you must step back to see the whole picture clearly!

Look Back, Laugh Forward

Reflect on a funny or unexpected situation from your work each week and share it with your team or friends. This reflection not only reduces stress but also strengthens your team bonding. It also reminds you that every job has moments of levity and is there to enjoy!

The Power of the Pause

Do not forget to take short breaks throughout your workday. Stand up, stretch, or gaze out the window for a few moments. These little "pauses" can do wonders for your productivity and creativity.

Finance-themed Game Nights

Organize regular game nights with your colleagues. Try Monopoly, The Game of Life, or online stock market simulation games. Learning while having fun? Checkmate!

Spice Up Your Workspace

Forget the traditional office. How about a workspace decorated like a Wall Street trading floor or an exotic island to remind you of the vacations your efforts can yield for you and your clients? Keep things fun and refreshing. After all, a stimulated mind breeds innovative ideas.

Podcast & Chill

Subscribe to finance-related podcasts. Listen to them while driving to and from work or during breaks. Consider time blocking a podcast time each day. Gain insights, get inspired, and you might start your own!

Celebratory Rituals

Did your client's portfolio just hit a new high? Did you score a great new lead? Celebrate these wins with a silly, unique ritual – like blowing a kazoo or ringing a special bell. Keep the spirit high, and the wins will follow.

Giving Back Goals

Set targets to give back a percentage of your income to your donor-advised fund. At the end of the quarter, manage the money that could be growing tax-free in the donor-advised fund and develop strategies for bestowing your philanthropic good.

Dollar Desserts:

Treat yourself to a special dessert or snack every time you hit a significant milestone. Who knew making money could be so sweet?

The Profit Playlist

Create a song playlist that gets you pumped and ready to conquer the financial world. From pop to classical, anything goes.

Finance Film Fridays

Take some time each week to watch a movie or documentary about finance or successful entrepreneurs. Enjoy a relaxing evening while gleaning lessons to apply to your practice.

Cooking Up Success

Love to cook? Try new recipes and name them after financial strategies. Tasty and thoughtful, your "Portfolio Paella" or "Retirement Ratatouille" will be a hit!

The Motivation Jar

Each time you have a successful day, write it down on a piece of paper and put it into a jar. Pull out a note to remind yourself of your victories during tough times.

Finance Fairytales

Got kids? Make-up bedtime stories featuring lessons about finance and saving. You will educate them early and enjoy spending time with them.

Book Club Bonanza

Start a book club with your colleagues or friends. Choose books related to personal development, finance, or biographies of successful people.

Work doesn't have to feel like work. With a dash of creativity, a sprinkle of fun, and a lot of passion, you can turn your daily routine into a delightful dance. Keep hustling, laughing, and creating wealth with a broad smile on your face.

As we wrap up this list of suggestions, remember that humor and playfulness are not the antithesis of professionalism. On the contrary, they can invigorate our routines, spark fresh ideas, and ultimately lead to more effective work as financial advisors.

After all, in the words of Mary Poppins: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and - SNAP - the job's a game!"

Would you have ever imagined that you would read a Dunham blog with the Reno Rodeo and Mary Poppins in the same article!


This communication is general in nature and provided for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax or investment advice or an investment recommendation, or as a substitute for legal or tax counsel. Any investment products or services named herein are for illustrative purposes only, and should not be considered an offer to buy or sell, or an investment recommendation for, any specific security, strategy or investment product or service. Always consult a qualified professional or your own independent financial professional for personalized advice or investment recommendations tailored to your specific goals, individual situation, and risk tolerance.

A donor-advised fund is a separately identified account that is maintained and operated by a section 501(c)(3) organization, and is not a registered investment company. Contributions to a Donor-Advised Fund are irrevocable contributions. Individuals considering a contribution to a Donor-Advised Fund should consult their legal and tax advisors regarding deductions, based on their personal considerations. Administrative services fees and other fees may apply. There may be additional fees charged by the Financial Advisor that is separate from the administrative and impact investment fees.

Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel, Inc. is a Registered Investment Advisor and Broker/Dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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