20 April 2022
Money is often likened to water and the flow of money to a stream or river. It’s helpful when we want to talk about how we can use our money with better effect. Managing our money is vitally dependent on understanding where the flow is coming from, where it’s flowing to, and how strong the current is. But once we know how the money is flowing, we have to make choices to create dams and estuaries, and reduce litter or clutter in the water that will reduce the quality. For this, we need to know the heart of successful financial planning.
At SFP, we believe that money success is ultimately all about the people impacted by the money. There’s an internal level, a social level and a community level. Our money is only as effective if we use it with intention and purpose – and this is why financial planning is so important.
Financial planning should begin with respect for people, not the markets, investments or risk products. It’s not about keeping the product providers operational; it’s about securing, growing and providing for ourselves and our families, and by extension, our greater community. Every financial planning conversation should begin with you and your needs, not a market or portfolio update.
Starting with respect for people helps us act with integrity. Integrity is all about holding our intended design. To act with integrity, we need to take time to reflect on who we are and how we can articulate and define our purpose. It’s been said that if you want to know what’s important to you, take a look at where your money is going. We can flip that around and say that when we see what’s important to us, we can choose to make our money flow in those directions.
But choosing our personal path takes immense courage. Leading with courage empowers us to maintain control of our own choices and helps others know that they too can make the choices that will best benefit them and their intended design. It’s the early stages of caring for others and showing consideration for their choices and situations.
These are ultimately our values as financial advisers at SFP. Respect for people, acting with integrity, leading with courage and caring for one another. The values are all connected and permeate all areas of life, not just financial planning. They help us show up as better members of our families, advisers to our clients, and members of our communities.
How you work with your money is intrinsically linked to how you live your life; so too is the heart of successful financial planning.