Financial life planning is the process of getting to understand a person, their situation, their goals, the past and their future.
It’s about scratching under the surface to reveal what really matters to someone and then building a personal and financial plan that is in keeping with their money goals.
Financial life planning to me is what separates genuine financial planners from the old image of financial advisers, who could quite frankly be working in any industry but just happen to be selling financial products for a living.
A good financial planner will incorporate a desire to get to know you within their advice process. Why is this? I often think as a financial planner that I am in the privileged position of being able to advise my clients on their money. Clients will come to me for advice that they will more often than not take up. The advice I give will be well thought out and therefore very convincing. That puts me in quite a powerful position.
For that reason I could not possibly imagine working with someone in this way without really understanding who they are. How can I tell someone what to do with their money, knowing full well they will trust me, without knowing myself that I am doing the right thing by them.
Ultimately my job, and the job of a financial planner, is to help people make decisions that they would otherwise make themselves were they to have the knowledge and expertise I do.