Many people have a preconception of how they think an interaction with a financial planner will be and its generally not a good one. Its almost the same feeling when you see that private number on your cell phone, and you the know it’s someone trying to sell you something and you don’t want to answer, but you do. The person on the other line starts with, “Hi is that Marc slidon”, and straight away you are like, well yes it is (you called me, you should know that), and you cant even pronounce my name correctly. That’s it, I’m done, phone down. Well in this short post, I’m going to going to give you 3 things that Lifestyle Financial Planning is NOT..
- Hit and run, one size fits all experience..
It is not a once-off meeting, whereby you are sold a product and then left out in the dark hoping it meets your desires. Lifestyle Financial planning is not a once off meeting, whereby you the client leaves with all your questions answered and all your shortfalls covered and lives happily ever after. You shouldn’t expect or want it to be like that. Lifestyle Financial planing is a journey you take with someone you TRUST, so the first meeting should be like an interview, to see if you and the planner are a good fit. Imagine taking a life long road trip with a person who is the definition of your pet peeve and then expecting it to be fun? That is kind of like what it would be like to work with a financial planner you don’t trust or don’t think will able to address your needs. The same applies to the financial planner, it would be terrible to be stuck in a car with someone whom constantly distrusts you and doubts your integrity and is trying to catch you out, rather than focusing their energy on the long term outcome. Go prepared to you first interaction, make a list of things which are important to you and make sure you leave having addressed them. If you are happy with the answers then proceed with the relationship, ask about the fees, ask about the value, ask about the responsibilities. There are many financial planners out there, don’t feel obliged to work with the one who happens to be sitting in front of you, because you have a short term need, and he is offering a quick fix.
- Get rich quick scheme.
Lifestyle Financial planning is not about getting the highest returns in the shortest period of time, or about investing in ” the best fund” available, it’s about context. The best fund able to meet your desired needs, predetermined by the planning we have done to achieve the lifestyle you want with the least risk possible, now that puts context to “the best fund”. Lifestyle financial planning is not the investment which gives you unheard of returns in ridiculously short periods of time. Think, “IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD BE TO TRUE, IT IS…”
- It is not free.
Think about the last time you got something for free, what did it mean for you? How long did it last and was it really free, or did you have to pay for it in some indirect way? Yes, initially it probably made you feel good, but how long did that feeling last and was it taken over by the feeling of being scammed? Lifestyle Financial Planning is not free, it is not a once off interaction that will solve all your problems and make you bucket loads of money in the shortest period of time.
Lifestyle financial planning is not for everyone and that’s OK. If you are looking for one of the above points, then that’s also OK. I’m sure you probably know where you can get it from, BUT it’s NOT from a lifestyle financial planner.