Life, Art, Vino, and Two Buck Chuck

Walker, Lewis J.
January 2005
Journal of Financial Planning;Jan2005, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p20
Academic Journal
This article describes a strategy for addressing the fears of financial planning clients. Fear is a driving force for clients--fear of terrorism, fear of outliving their money. Fear is derived from apprehension about the unknown. The antidote for fear is information, wise counsel, putting the known into perspective, framing, and realistic assurance, after we have spent ample time listening to clients so as to understand the nature of their fear. We must recognize client biases and their realities, yet be willing to challenge assumptions when appropriate, offering creative, flexible, and practical alternatives to help the client make his or her own decision. As Sue Hammond notes in her book. The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry, we should help the client appreciate and value the best of what is, envision what might be, discuss what should be, and innovate what will be. We must blend personal and psychographic needs with financial goals and realities, so as to render distinctive advice. Demographic trends alone have created fascinating realities. Life-span gaps within families, longer life spans, and three to four generations at family gatherings create planning opportunities. All facets of the wealth management process must be more introspective and creative. Emotions--fear, love, anger, frustration, joy, pride, selfishness, overgenerosity--can alter and distort and cause reactions that are not in sync with rational planning or the logic of numbers.


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