Bottom's Line: A Midsummer Night's Musing

Wagner, Richard B.
August 1997
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug1997, Vol. 10 Issue 4, p42
Academic Journal
This article deals with the assumptions within financial planning relationships. Assumptions are necessary tools and indispensable shortcuts--particularly in the intense atmosphere of a relationship's beginnings. Financial planning relationships are as complex as humans get. It is where reason and love keep company, the job being to make them friends and help clients make their way in the world. As professionals, planners ask themselves to grasp the distilled essences of individual humans--warts, beauty, fears, dreams and all--to enable life-governing decisions. Clients try communicating while head-on confronting their deepest fears. Assumptions are powerful. They control how planners hear and respond to the intimate cores of the client's most dominant life goals and needs. These are the presuppositions that determine the nature of the client-planner connection. Yet erroneous or inappropriate assumptions are diversions from answers a client seeks and needs. Since they reflect biases and values, it is difficult to avoid inappropriate assumptions. A typical assumption is the snide pseudo-sophistication behind the observation that people's basic money emotions can all be reduced to those pillars of selfishness--fear and greed.


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