Money. Few words have the power to provoke such extreme human emotions. A lot of us refuse to event talk about money! Like religion, sex, or politics, the topic is taboo at the dinner table and often off-limits in the workplace. We might discuss wealth in polite company, but money is explicit. It’s raw. It’s intensely personal and highly charged. It can make people feel guilty when they have it – or ashamed when they don’t.

But what does it really mean?

As someone who has worked with a lot of folks around the subject of money, first and foremost what most of us are really after is the feelings, the emotions, we think money can create like the feeling of empowerment, freedom, security, helping others and having choices.  Consequently, there are two laws related to money:  The “outer” laws which include things like business knowledge, money management, and investment strategies. The “inner” laws are those intangibles like our behaviors, beliefs, values, and attitudes wrapped around money.  And of course, those have to be identified and addressed before you can create any type of financial plan which is the key ingredient for all of this.

Finding the Right Financial Advisor

If no one is asking you (and your spouse) exactly what your priorities in life are today (and why) followed by the tough questions related to how you currently handle your savings, retirement planning, fulfilling your bucket list, emergencies, college for the kid(s), and whatever else you decide is important to you and your family then it becomes very difficult to gain the financial control you desire.

One of my previous Guests on the show, Carl Richards who wrote the book, The One Page Financial Plan has outlined the following:

  1. Real financial advisors diagnose before prescribing. Your first meeting should have the advisor asking lots of questions to help him or her get to the bottom of what’s important about money to you.
  2. Real financial advisors are open about conflicts of interest.  In other words are they really a nicely dressed salesperson selling financial products or do you sense that they’re actually putting your interests ahead of their own?
  3. Real financial advisors are transparent about fees and compensation. You need to ask them these two specific questions: How much do I pay you? And how are you compensated? This is not about price shopping, it’s about your understanding of what’s in it for them.

Excellent financial advisors are clear about the value of building long term relationships and the importance of getting to know you.  You need to trust that they’re going to help you behave for the next 10, 20, 30+ years of your life.  You’re hiring them to make unemotional decisions about your portfolio based on everything you shared with them related to the priorities in your life.

The right financial advisor is critical to your long term financial success!