Several years ago I worked with a remarkable financial planner. While it was great to work with him, I suspected his networking footprint was so large that any chance of me getting a referral from an accountant or attorney was pretty slim.
So I went where he wasn’t and reached out to the mental health community. I figured people seldom meet with their attorney, and only meet with their accountant once a year.
Where would they be talking a lot about their financial problems? In their therapist’s office.
Now I collaborate with and receive many referrals from therapists (and happily give them, too).
Most of my clients have been in therapy and, indeed, the benefits of working with a CFP® Professional are similar to those of working with a qualified mental health professional. People who have been in therapy are the same kinds of people who hire me: People who proactively seek help with an area of their lives and are willing and able to pay for that help.
For years I developed (what I thought were) great financial plans but many recommendations never got implemented and I was tired of banging my head against the proverbial wall wondering “Why?”
So, I started asking clients deeper questions about life, their values, their history with money etc. Over time, I found that I actually attract people who want a financial plan and want to work with someone who gives a hoot.
I’ve been told that I have a “therapeutic” personality. Really, I’m genuinely interested in people and in what makes them tick (and my husband often jokes that I have a sign on my back that reads, “Please tell me your life story”). The truth is, the more I care, the more invested my clients are about making positive changes in their financial lives.
The financial planning 6-step process is designed to guide the financial planner as well as the client from start to finish (if there ever is a “finish”) and I use it to address each client’s financial situation but you may apply these same steps yourself. These steps include:
1. Establish relationship
2. Gather data
3. Evaluate data, research options
4. Make recommendations, choose option(s)/solution(s)
5. Implement recommendations
6. Monitor progress
This process provides a framework to move from a state of mental paralysis to a state of confident action, which reduces anxiety because instead of focusing on what you cannot control in your financial life, we look at what you can do with the resources you have.
If you are recognizing yourself in some of these comments and wish to move from financial confusion, avoidance or paralysis to financial confidence, I invite you to contact me so that can talk.
Photos courtesy of Clip Art.