WRITTEN BY: Gideon Drucker, CFP® AIF® ECA
A potential client told me, by way of explaining her decision not to move forward with our firm,
"I love your approach, your process and absolutely know I need a plan, but I don't want to spend money on it."
Keep in mind she mentioned in her Right Fit Call that she,
- spends too much money,
- needs help organizing her cash flow and
- wants to better understand if she's veering off course from accomplishing her financial goals
To reiterate, she freely admitted that she was frivolous with her income & spends too much money...yet she chose to draw the line at spending money on a financial plan that would address and solve those same financial worries. As they say, you can bring a horse to water but you can't make them drink.
I found it a valuable conversation: there's a difference between HOPING that you will become financially independent and doing what it takes to get there.
That individual will probably spend more on her credit card next month than the total amount we would have charged to analyze, break down, and evaluate her past, present, and future financial standing.
If I may be so bold, she chose to focus on the short term cost of our guidance over the value (both in tangible dollars and in peace of mind) that such a plan is designed to provide over the next 20-30 years.
In short, she made her decision about her financial planning future the same way I determine what pair of pants I might buy... (que my internal dialogue: "Well, they all keep my legs warm so lowest price tag wins")
In my experience in working with my personal CPA and estate attorney, I've come to realize that cost is only a factor in the absence of value.
In those relationships, where I'm the client, if I feel I'm getting the value that I want, I am HAPPY to pay these professionals their keep.
They are doing work I can't do, don't want to do, and are going above and beyond to take care of me? Yup, I'm a happy camper.
As I am proud to share with prospective & current clients: we are not trying to be the lowest cost option available to you (I always think of the joke about flying, "it's better to not think about the fact that every part of the plane you're sitting in was built by the lowest cost provider.")
Our goal is to provide unparalleled VALUE.
With something as serious and life altering as financial decision making, your choice should hinge on the value you expect to receive RELATIVE to the price you will be paying.
And a quick word about "free financial plans."
If an advisor is offering a "free financial plan" if you were to become an investment client (or an insurance client), I have 4 questions for you:
- What service have you ever received for free, in your entire life, that made an actual difference to you?
- How much value is that advisor placing on your financial plan if they are not compensated for putting it together?
- How much value, truly, will you place on the financial planning process knowing that you are not putting any sweat equity into creating it?
- How objective could that financial plan possibly be if it's just a means of getting to the "good" part? (ie investing your money!)
We charge a flat fee to build out a client's Financial Life Plan®.
I am proud to share that because I am confident in what we provide. It takes time. It takes effort.
It is a stand alone, objective financial plan that will let you know what you need to know …whether you choose to continue working with us or not!