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Financial Advice: Fast, Cheap, & Great. Pick 2!

Every now and then, I speak to someone on a “Right Fit” Call who gets super excited about the type of financial plan that we will put together for them. 

Let’s call him Jeff. Jeff has been wanting to get help for a while…he just hasn’t been able to take that next step. He LOVES that our process will look at every aspect of his financial universe: 

  • Cash Flow Analysis
  • Investment Accounts
  • Employee Benefits
  • Prior Year Tax Return
  • Life & Disability Insurance Analysis 
  • Property & Casualty Insurance 
  • Estate Planning Documents 
  • Priority Scenario Planning 
  • Asset Allocation 
  • Tax Optimization 
  • Education Funding 
  • Recurring Contributions 

And he loves that, from start to finish, this planning process will take approx. 8 weeks and that he will have 6-8 meetings with our team to explore all these planning areas thoroughly. Jeff loved hearing that if he needed more meetings to cover everything, or if he had one-off follow up questions, that’s ok…it is ALL included in the planning fee! He is never “on the clock”. We are paid to get the work done & communicate the results/next steps to him properly…however long and however many meetings it takes. 

I then communicated that this planning engagement will cost $5,000 (information readily available on our website) because he is married & makes $450,000 (our fee for couples with under $500k of household income is $5k) and he balked that this was too expensive for what he was looking for. 

I said absolutely no worries…and was prepared to see if he had any other questions before wishing him well. He was a bit surprised by my reaction & asked why I wasn’t “trying to convince him” or “explain the fees”. 

I answered as honestly as I could: 

Jeff, you are looking for a complete financial analysis & roadmap covering over 10 separate financial disciplines, you want to meet with our team 6-8 times for reviews and you want this all done with clear, defined deliverables 2 months from now….and you think $5,000 isn’t reasonable? I think we just may have different ideas of what great professional services cost & the long-term value they provide. And that’s totally ok…but I think our client relationships work best when clients have truly bought in and find our fees reasonable and appropriate from the jump.

I could have put it another way. 

When it comes to financial advice, you can have it cheap, you can have it fast, or it can be great. But you have to pick two! 

Happy Planning!