As we conclude our series, Values Drive Decisions, we focus on our final core value: Conscientiousness. Financial planning is rarely a discipline of perfection. In dealing with numbers, you would assume that most decisions we help our clients make are 1+1=2 equations, however generally the opposite is true. Much of what we do involves weighing facts against the unique, personal situation of each client.
That being said, this business is undeniably detail-oriented. We generally follow a three-step approach to decision-making in order to provide each client with individualized, first-rate financial advice:
1. We start with the facts of the situation to get specific details out front. This includes calculations, projections, tax consequences, and formulas. To ensure a complete set of facts, it is imperative to have these details correct from the start.
2. With these facts, we create various potential avenues. There is generally more than one path to take when making consequential financial decisions. As soon as we have the details, we will be able to present these pathways in a more concise manner.
3. We then factor in the unique position of each client, including their accessible resources, their tolerance for risk, and the available margin in their financial plan. In addition to the financials, we consider who each client is, what their values are, and how we have seen them make decisions in the past.
In this framework, you can see how conscientiousness is imperative. While financial sharpness is vital, we need to create reasonable assumptions regarding the future, and most importantly, gain insight into who each client is.
In conclusion, “pursuing nothing but our best work with diligence” means:
1. A commitment to lifelong learning and continuing education to stay up to date on the changing financial landscape.
2. A team approach to decision making, ensuring all possible paths are thoroughly assessed and explored.
3. A personal understanding of each client’s unique values and inclinations.
How have you benefitted from a thorough, systematic approach to financial decision-making?