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Are We There Yet?

6 October 2023

Nobody ever comes to a financial planner asking for an ‘overarching holistic review of assets, circumstances, and dreams leading to a financial plan that ensures I can live my best life.’

It would be nice if they did.

But they don’t.

Instead, they come for a transaction.

  • ‘I need to access my pension.’
  • ‘I need a better return on my investment.’
  • ‘I need a bigger mortgage.’

When what they *really* want is…

  • To know whether they have enough to retire and live their dream retirement lifestyle.
  • To feel they have sufficient funds behind them to leave the rat race and live a better life.
  • To live a life in the countryside and give their children a better start.

And our job as financial planners is to get their heads out of the transaction and into the ‘human, why?’

The problem is that sometimes you can be so passionate about financial planning and the benefits that it will bring that you sweep the client along with you.

Which is good….

Except the client thinks you’re doing financial planning INSTEAD of arranging the transactions they think they need.

This can lead to problems…the most extreme of which I’ve seen is when, halfway through the financial planning process, the client proudly announces to the stunned and slightly crestfallen planner that they’ve ‘sorted their pension, mortgage, and investment.’


Imagine that it’s the summer holidays and the kids want to go to McDonald’s.

They want short-term gratification.

You, however, sell the idea of a grand family day out somewhere wholesome, and they buy into it. Great!

Except they’re still hungry and are naturally going to struggle to stay focused on the joy of the grand day out whilst their tummy is rumbling.

You’re pointing out the lovely landmarks along the way and they’ve got their noses pressed against the window, staring wistfully at every service station fast food joint that you pass.

But if you promise that along the way you’ll be stopping for lunch (somewhere nice, not McDonald’s), then now the whole car is happy.

Short-term desire has been sated by the promise of medium-term satisfaction.

They’re getting a more productive and wholesome experience and getting fed along the way.

But if they thought they were going for a day out INSTEAD of getting lunch, well, no matter how great the experience should be, their focus will be their grumbling tummies.

So, it’s important that we don’t get so evangelical about financial planning that we forget to knit the financial advice process into it and more importantly, explain to the client how and when any transactions will be dealt with.

Just like when you tell your kids that ‘we’ll stop at the next service station’.

It’s a game changer; everybody’s mood brightens, despite you knowing it’s still 40 miles away.

Learn to satisfy their short-term transactional desires with the promise of medium-term solutions on the way to a long-term holistic outcome.

Holistic financial planning is great, but we still gotta eat. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


  • End-to-End Lifestyle Financial Planning Process & Software
  • Full Financial Planner Back Office System
  • Coaching for Financial Planners


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