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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

Please Stop Worrying About The Way Your Industry Is Seen.

Posted by Josh Patrick

scrutiny resized 600I’m a member of a group called Nazrutin or Naz for short.  This is a group of some of the best and most interesting thinkers in the financial planning world.  There has recently been a lot of discussion around what is being called Financial Planning 3.0. 

Financial planning 1.0 was about the stuff that makes you financially independent.  Things like your investments, life insurance policies, and other assets you might own.  Financial planning 2.0 moved into the world of what’s called life planning.  Life planning focuses on what makes a good life and how you are going to go about achieving this.  Life planning has a significant soft side.  This is in addition to the hard numbers many think about when Financial Planning comes up. 

Then, we get to Financial Planning 3.0.  It appears that the best minds in the industry see a need for us to move past what makes a great life to what makes great communities or as I like to think of them, tribes. 

Why are tribes important?

In my experience the quality of the tribes I belong to make a significant impact on the quality of my life.  I have tribes within my family, tribes within my business communities, and tribes within special interests I have.  Some of these tribes intersect with each other and some don’t.  What about you, do you have several different tribes you belong to?  Have you ever thought about how they impact your life?

Is it the job of financial planners to worry about what makes a good life or your participation in tribes?

Many in our industry would answer the above question with a resounding no.  That’s probably OK.  The world needs different planners with different worldviews.  I do think that if you are considering entering into a relationship with a financial planner that you should be very clear about what you want this planner to help you with.

If you are just interested in the numbers, then you’ll want a financial planner from the 1.0 world.  The 1.0 planner will help you examine your numbers and give answer your questions based on financial analysis. 

If you’re interested in integrating some planning around what makes your life better, then the 2.0 planner is your ticket.  This planner will help you think about your life as an asset as well as what makes for a good life. 

If you think that you really want your planner to help you with the hard, soft, and tribe issues that add color and texture to your life, then it’s time to find a 3.0 financial planner.  It’s your decision and you want to make it knowing what your needs are.

Let’s get back to will the industry ever be taken seriously.

This is a tough question for me.  At the end of the day, I don’t really care and I’m not sure you as a practitioner or consumer should either.  Do we want the industry to be thought of in the same vein as lawyers or accountants?  If we do, then there has to be a significant part of our work being compliance-oriented.  You go to lawyers for compliance related issues. You go to accountants to have them do your tax and audit work.  I’m just not sure that’s why you would choose a financial planner.

When I think of financial planners I think more along the lines of providers from the world of psychology.  There is a range of types of practitioners you can use.  It all depends on what you want and what you need. 

The world of psychologists, psychotherapists and counselors doesn’t seem to be taken seriously by those in the medical world.  They provide a great deal of value to the right person at the right time.  I think I’m happier in the world of nuanced services. 

I don’t really care whether we’re taken seriously as a profession.  I’m much more concerned with the service I provide and the value this brings to my clients.  What about you?  Do you really care if the industry is taken seriously?  How does that make your life better?

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