Financial Life Planning: Back to the Future

Dilberto, Roy; Anthony, Mitch
August 2003
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2003, Vol. 16 Issue 8, p22
Academic Journal
The article presents the authors' opinion on financial life planning. When we set about putting together the financial jigsaw puzzle that clients lay on the table before us, the first corner-piece we must gather is the personal history of the client. This history piece contains within it the emotional content of why this individual comes to the planner in the first place. Many planners--for qualitative purposes--move quickly to the goals discussion, but our suspicion is that the goals discussion is two stages premature. There is much that can be learned by acting as a biographer of our client. We can gain much understanding of our clients by inquiring into their background, culture, socioeconomic experience, values and formative experience. Clients have unique stories to tell and very personal perspectives regarding money. Critics of financial life planning often claim that asking such probing questions borders on practicing psychology. Of course, it was, but so is measuring a person's risk tolerance, and all of us do that. We are financial planners and money is emotional for most people.


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