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Captain Sensible And The Fun Police

28 June 2024

FINANCIAL PLANNERS – Financial Planning is a very sensible business, conducted by very sensible people for very sensible clients.

Which can be a problem.

Because who wants their life to be so… well… sensible?

‘Everything in moderation, including moderation itself’, as the saying goes.

Let’s consider a couple who’ve unexpectedly come into some money later in life, maybe an inheritance, a forgotten pension, or a redundancy payout.

Before this windfall, they’ve lived a sensible life in a sensible house, driving a sensible car, and going on sensible holidays.

But suddenly, they have a pot of money in their laps. What now?

  • Your sensible Financial Planning mind wants to safeguard their future.
  • Your sensible Paraplanner wants to develop a cashflow model to stretch that money until they’re old and doddery.
  • Your very, very sensible Compliance Officer wants to ensure every bit of joy is sucked out of their plans so they can live a grey, dull life that fits the FCA’s idea of sensibility.

Well, that’s a bundle of laughs.

But hang on a minute.

I bet there have been times when you’ve been less than sensible yourself. When you’ve thrown caution to the wind and had a great time – maybe even been a bit reckless.

And I bet, given your usually sensible nature, that when you decided to let loose, you gave yourself permission to do so. You knew your sensible self would eventually take over again, but you wanted to have some fun first.

So, who are we to decide what’s sensible in someone else’s life?

Your clients’ might know this is their one chance to have some fun. To do the things they’ve always dreamed of but never thought they’d actually do.

  • The round-the-world trip.
  • The new kitchen with an oversized Aga.
  • The generous gift to help the kids get on the property ladder.
  • The pimped-up motorhome.
  • The timeshare in sunny Spain.

Sure, when you pop these into the cashflow models, it might show their money running out before their time does.

So what?

That’s perfectly fine…

They’ve led a very ordinary life for a very long time. After this brief, glorious blitz of excitement, they’ll return to their very ordinary life.

It doesn’t make them reckless or imprudent. In fact, it shows they have more self-awareness than those who mistake a fear of living for sensibility.

If it’s planned and purposeful and lets them do what they’ve always wanted, they should go for it.

As a Financial Planner, we should support that – not strangle it with our ultra-sensible cashflow models.

Don’t be afraid to champion a bit of fun, a bit of recklessness, a bit of excitement in your clients’ lives.

If your Compliance Officer has a problem with it, just remind them of last year’s Christmas party when they did the David Brent dance after a few too many Sambucas.

You know, that time they decided to let off a bit of steam on a Friday night, safe in the knowledge they’d be back to their sensible selves by Monday morning.

Remember, we’re Financial Planners – not the Fun Police. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


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