Yes, pure goals and objective based planning is far better than the greedy pursuit of 'more' which has been the bedrock of financial advice for many a year. Look at it, once we have more, we want some more of that more - it is a never satisfying cycle.
In recent years, a goals based approach, with financial objectives has added greater structure, enabling targets and measurements to be put in place, even projections to help calculate when retirement is possible. Bring cash-flow modelling into the mix, and we are starting to get somewhere.
Most of these however, still focus firmly on finance first, family and fun (also known as life) come a poor second at best.
George Kinder maintains (and has done for years), that 'only life planners can meet a fiduciary duty' - a bold claim, and one which will no doubt ruffle a few feathers, but let's look at this a little.
“A fiduciary, in the purest sense of the term, needs to consider all aspects of their clients’ lives – life concerns and financial concerns.”
That is exactly what Financial Life Planning does. It takes the time to figure our what is deeply important to the individual, their unfettered desires - not clouded by any restrictions - and most certainly not financial ones. You see, as soon as money comes into the conversation, our minds work differently, we start to place a financial value on things, not a personal or life value.
Life planning seeks to find out who the clients are, who they want to really be, then build the financial architecture around enabling the freedom for that to happen, rather than have pre-determined financial strategies take them in a completely different direction.
At Serenity, we believe that life planning is THE way to serve clients best - it is about the person, not their purse.
Advisers that do not embrace a less finance-centric approach to their work will struggle to comply with a best interest duty, says the father of the ‘life planning’ movement, George Kinder.