“Every time you invest in someone else’s life, you start a process that will never end.”

  • Hendricks, Howard

With the shift to “financial life” planning during the past ten years, the nature of financial planning has begun to change significantly. Planning your financial life involves more intentionally incorporating both your life and your money into your financial strategy and investment portfolio. Some renowned financial planners would claim that as a matter of course, they have always assisted clients in making life plans. This description has never been used before. On the other hand, the general public continues to believe that financial planning is simply investing and that planners are only interested in making money.

Consumers will put much more pressure on financial planners to broaden their roles and procedures from financial management to coaching, mentoring, and life planning if they are aware that a more “humanised” financial planning approach is available.

Given that assisting clients in realising their objectives is essential to financial planning, it is crucial to assist them in developing a sense of self and a life plan. These elements are essential to a position that places a larger emphasis on non-financial concerns. Sounds obvious, so why do so many planners seem to think that their job does not include addressing life’s challenges and concerns facing people?

According to a survey by David Debofsky and Lyle Sussman conducted in February 2009, 89% of financial planners who are members of the CFP Board and/or Financial Planning Association participate in non-financial coaching and counselling at some point, and 74% of these planners claim that their involvement in this work has increased over the previous five years. Additionally, advisors claim that 25% of their time is dedicated to non-financial matters. The most frequently mentioned non-financial concerns are 81% personal life goals, 66% career, and 44% physical health. Additionally, clients are now discussing emotional concerns including divorce, addiction, mental health, and spirituality with their planner 10 to 20 percent of the time.

All of this indicates that even if the adviser is not consciously altering his or her technique, the planner’s function is shifting toward dealing with life and human issues on a larger degree. Our research from February 2009 revealed that 50% of planners still only devote 1 to 3 hours to learning about their clients during the client discovery phase. This is certainly not enough to appropriately handle the life difficulties. Naturally, not every financial planner will acknowledge that their duty goes beyond financial statistics, and not every client will want to discuss personal matters with a financial planner. Nevertheless, the reality is that many of you will have circumstances or needs that need the planner addressing non-financial matters as part of offering financial guidance. Because money is inextricably linked to non-financial difficulties, a financial planner is most qualified to assist you with them. Fortunately, there is a growing quantity of high-quality training available for advisors who want to pursue careers in coaching, mentoring, and life planning.

The main advantage of having a financial planner serve as your coach or mentor is that it will facilitate the development of a more profound, long-lasting relationship built on trust and mutual respect. You need this to support important and long-term financial decisions that you will make. The benefits of travelling life’s journey alongside a financial planner include:

To receive precise advise on both life and money-related difficulties.
sage advice from a person with both financial and life expertise.
Taking lessons from the successes and errors of others.
a genuine partnership built on people being themselves.
It’s critical to select a planner who has the following skills if you want them to be a central figure in your life path and go beyond the numbers:

establishing a systematic, safe atmosphere for coaching or mentoring.
establishing clear procedures for coaching or mentoring that involve involving you in the discussion of non-financial matters, asking probing questions with empathy, and fostering challenging conversations.
utilising a coach or mentor of their own to begin a personal development journey for themselves. Planners are unable to take clients places they haven’t been themselves.
Utilizing effective assessment and facilitation techniques that will give a more accurate and objective picture of who you are and how to best support your personal growth to suit your specific needs.
Start putting people first in your financial planning to improve your financial performance.
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