Outside Online took a skeptical look at the burgeoning happiness industry. The “industry” is comprised of things like seminars, books and other sorts of programs that can be very expensive all aimed at helping people figure out how to be happy.

I think a big part of happiness is having purpose in what you do for work. Where you might spend 40 or 60 or more hours of your week for 2/3 to 3/4 of your life, it might contribute to happiness if you can enjoy that thing you spend so much time doing.

What did you want to do when you were a kid? No matter your answer, even that dream job (professional athlete for me) has its ups and downs, so people need to accept that reality but even with downswings I would hope people would figure out how to find purpose in what they do which will enhance the sense of happiness.

Working as an investment advisor or other type of financial professional provides the opportunity for such fulfillment and happiness. While the work can have its ups and downs, working as an advisor affords the opportunity to truly help people.

Help can come in several forms. On its face the job of an advisor is to help clients financially prepare for some big life event, typically retirement. This usually involves engaging in capital markets and a few other things such that when the client gets there they can live the lifestyle they realistically expect. Part of that equation is helping them prepare for not being financially able to live the lifestyle they realistically expect; someone living a $100,000 lifestyle before retirement won’t be able to do that in retirement with only a $300,000 nest egg.

A huge part of how advisors help people is by steering them away from financially destructive behaviors like panic selling after a large decline or putting 25% of their assets in Bitcoin or a lottery-ticket biotech stock. Fear and greed are powerful motivators and anytime an advisor helps prevent a client from succumbing to those emotions they are providing tremendous value.

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