I might not be the financial planner for you.
Despite being a CFP® professional and serving as a fiduciary at all times putting my client’s best interest first, it’s possible that what I offer and what you are looking for may not line up.
It’s tough for me to say this since I naturally want to make a difference for everyone. But over the years, I have come to understand that I am simply not going to be the best fit for everyone.
When I was a young advisor, just starting out at the age of 22 back in 1985, I was determined to work with anyone and everyone that I could. I was fresh out of college with a degree in Finance, a securities license in my hand and ready to help the world.
Fast forward to today – with three and a half decades of real-life financial planning experience, I know exactly what I have to offer and the types of people who can benefit from my services.
Through my ongoing work with clients, I help them achieve the following:
- Gain new levels of clarity and confidence about their financial future
- Understand exactly what actions they need to take and why to achieve their financial goals.
- Experience the sense of control that comes from funding a whole and healthy long-term nest egg.
- Sleep well at night, knowing that their investments are being monitored and managed on their behalf.
- Finally, living their best life by outlining what they value most and using their money as a tool to deliver on those promises.
The financial planning work we do can be impactful and life-changing. But, with all that said, here is a list of potential signs that I may not be the financial planner for you:
You’re looking for the next hot stock tip.
Oftentimes, when I’m at a party or event and a person finds out what I do, they’ll immediately ask what I think of the market and if I have some great stock idea. I guess they want me to say “buy company A” and be able to sit back and watch their profits soar. That is far from what I offer as a financial planner. Through my training and experience over the years, I have a solid understanding of markets—how they behave and why. Through my experience, I have implemented academically prudent investing strategies that are designed to deliver long-term performance to my clientele.
I have worked with clients with serious money they invest for the long term, and then a much smaller amount that they trade with—think “funny money.” I understand that it scratches an itch for some, and it can be acceptable in small amounts. However, if you are focused on day trading or finding the next Gamestop as your primary form of investment, I may not be the best fit for you.
You’re not willing to put in the work.
I won’t sugar coat it—achieving financial success is challenging work. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of the U.S. tax code or how to construct an investment portfolio—that’s where I come in—but you do need to be willing to buckle down and take action in your life. For starters, we will work together to help get you organized, but you’re responsible for gathering all the documents that we will need. Then, for our work to be successful, you must be ready to follow through and implement the strategies and tactics laid out in your unique financial plan. I promise you that I will be there every step of the way, helping you understand what needs to be done and working with you to stay on top of it. But, you must be willing to take action and put in the work—if not, well, we may not be an excellent fit for each other.
You’re not interested in discussing the details of your financial situation.
Let me start by saying this: I understand how intimidating and unusual it can feel to talk openly about money. From a young age, we’ve been taught that talking about money is impolite and that diving into money details is downright off-limits. I get it. That said, for me to help you achieve your financial goals and create an integrated financial plan to get you there, I need to know the nuts and bolts of your situation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in the very first meeting, but as we work together, we will need to explore each area of your financial situation for our work to be successful. If you’re someone that knows you will flat out not be able to open up about money, then our work together will likely fall short of the mark.
You don’t want your spouse included in the planning process.
I know this one can be sensitive with some people, so let me clarify this point. I understand some spouses absolutely, positively have zero interest in the financial aspect of things in your relationship. One of you handles certain things in the relationship, and the other handles other things, so why include them? It was quite common years ago to have only one person (usually the male) in the relationship handle all of the money matters. This almost always created challenges when the person that dealt with the money passed away before the other partner. The survivor was left to figure things out independently, with little information and little or no experience in these matters. This created all sorts of unnecessary problems during an emotional time for the surviving spouse. Even though one partner may be driving the money train, both partners need to be involved in the planning process. Often this helps to get both parties on the same page, feeling more organized and in control. There is, however, one exception to this point. If a person who is in a marriage and not a current client individually approaches me because they maintain a completely separate money profile from their spouse or if they are planning to decouple from their marriage, then coming in and engaging in a financial planning relationship without their spouse makes sense, due to the circumstances.
In summary, if you read through that list and believe that we might be a good fit, I would love to chat. Part of my commitment to my clients is that you should feel 100% certain that we are a good fit for each other before ever signing on, which is why I offer a complimentary consultation to each potential client.
If you’re interested in co-crafting a financial plan that works, book an appointment today!