With the spotlight turned up on financial services in recent times, articulating value has never been more important for those providing advice. What is the real value of financial advice and how impactful can it be? The answer lies in the advice journey and how clear and meaningful the goals that come out of that process are. The measure of success of advice may come down to how aligned these goals are to someone’s core values.
Money makes the world go around, or so they say. Making your money grow and all the strategies intrinsic with this is certainly part of the financial planning journey, but it is the byproduct of this that we are most concerned about in financial planning and what is ultimately linked to happiness. Money doesn’t equal happiness, but I would argue money planned and spent toward shared goals with family and loved ones will certainly help. I have parents who switch off when you talk about superannuation but light up when you talk about their 2006 Europe trip! It’s making the connection between the two that is important.
Happiness to some might be the security of being debt free and the freedom to see the world at their leisure. I was recently sitting down with a couple who have achieved this and it was clear they were happy, not with the balance of their super but with the opportunities it opens up for them and their family. Another couple’s happiness could involve investing money to take time off work when they have young children, so they don’t miss any of the important firsts. Planning in advance to start a business could be someone else’s meaning of true financial freedom. The knowledge that you can assist the children with their weddings and potentially chip in a bit for that first house can give some individuals no end of pride. Whatever brings you happiness is what true financial planning is all about. The clearer one can be on what is ultimately important to them will drive the success of a financial plan.