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South Burlington, VT

Value Creation Blog

Financial Planning in Burlington VT: Where Does Trust Fit Into Change?

Posted by Josh Patrick

Financial Planning in BurlingtonAre any of these things happening your life?  You might be getting to retire.  You might be getting ready to sell your business.  Maybe you’re in the middle of a divorce or your might have just lost a loved one.

You get the idea, change is part of life and when change happens you’ll need to have people you trust.  Trust is something you need to take very seriously.  Here are some things you might want to think about as you evaluate who to bring into your circle during a time of change.

Is there person reliable?

There is more to reliability than showing up on time.  I know that I find it’s hard for me to trust people who don’t do what they say they’re going to do.  Even if it’s a small thing I often have a hard time trusting when something gets left behind.

On the other hand, if the person does drop the ball and then comes back to let me know this happened, I’ll gain more respect and trust around that person.  Does this make sense to you?

Do you think the person is competent to help you?

I’m not necessarily talking about professional competence.  If a friend has been through a similar situation and come out the other side they just might have some information you could find useful.

Do you feel comfortable talking about your change with this person?  If the answer is yes, you might have added another piece in the puzzle of whom you should trust. 

If the person is a professional, do they have lots of experience dealing with the issue you’re facing?  Make sure you check out the success they’ve had before starting an engagement.  Doing something poorly is even worse than not doing it at all.  Ask the professional what they’ve learned over the years with the change you’re facing.  If they don’t have a good answer, you might want to move on.

What about caring about you as a person?

For me, this is one of the big issues we almost never think about.  I don’t care if I’m paying a fee or it’s just a friend.  I want the people I’m discussing my changes with to listen deeply.  I think it’s important that talking about a change will be dealt with having no or as little judgment as possible.  If I feel like I’m being judged it’s really hard for me to build trust.  Does this ring true with you?

Where does self-interest fit in?

If you’re paying a fee, there is an obvious bit of self-interest at play.  More importantly, if you’re not paying a fee what is the reason this person is willing to help?  Too often when it’s family members they have a hidden agenda.  They might want to you to spend money on something you’re not ready to tackle yet.

I often see financial needs from family members get in the way when there’s a death in the family or a family business sale.  Both are prime for confusion between really helping you and self-interest.  Make sure self-interest is managed, no matter whom you’re thinking about trusting.

At the end of the day, trust is a feeling.  You’ll know whether you have it.  If your gut says no, go with your gut.  You’ll be glad you did.

We have a workbook called The Decision Free Zone.  This book will help you learn about what decision you have to make versus what decisions can be put off.  Knowing the difference can mean the difference between a change that’s mildly annoying versus a change that cause true pain in your life.

decision free zone work book

Topics: financial planning, trust, life changes

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