You may read this story wondering “what more could I give?.” So many great advisers are working harder than ever before. And while it seems like you don't have more to give, I can tell you something I know for sure - more advisers should be sharing more stories, of how they manage their own finances in terms of their life design and family relationships.
Why am I saying this? Because I know first hand how many people are intrigued, and learn intuitively, through other people’s experiences with life design and money. I am always hearing stories around money, people love sharing with me the mistakes they made, and what they learned along the way.
What I don't hear is a lot of financial advisers talking about how they manage their own life planning and money. It’s almost as if advisers hold back for the same reason we as an industry don't give more practical information at a media/ communications level - for fear that it will be seen as personal advice. Or for advisers, to explain their own financial situation for fear of judgement - do you have enough considering what you do for a living? Or do you have too much?
If we are to break the taboo of people speaking more openly about money, in the attempt to increase financial literacy and help people understand when is the right time to get financial advice, we must speak about our own money situations.
I am not saying you have to present a full balance sheet of your affairs, but rather share more broadly your personal approach to money and how that works in everyday life. What do you spend on? How much do you save? Do you believe in having debt? What is your main asset class?
These kinds of conversations help people understand that every strategy is different - and that your money plan ultimately serves a much more important factor - your life, and how you want to live it. I realise that life design is ultimately about making decisions with your money to get you where you want to go - and that’s what advisers are so good at. But most people don't make that correlation.
They get that advisers understand tax and legal issues and do administration, but do not think that advisers are the master of life design, with your finances as a critical component of living the life you want.
Three fast ways you can demonstrate your own life design are:
As an adviser you can reveal more. Share your own views and your own story more. Make it part of your conversations with existing and new clients. When interviewed by the press and whoever else you have an audience with, make sure to show the real you, your personal beliefs about money, and how you have implemented those beliefs financially over the years. This teaches people about life design and financial planning in a very real way.
Please share. Your wisdom is very much needed.
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