Financial Planners are constantly picked on and even ridiculed, mostly by people who never worked with a financial advisor and don’t think they need one. Advisors are thick-skinned and a quick-thinking group though, so this is no big deal.
However, a couple years ago I was caught off guard. I was dining with a close friend and (unexpectedly) his colleagues from work. They were all executives at a big aluminum producer and couldn’t get their heads around the idea that I wasn’t a ‘corporate soul’. They thought anyone can be a financial advisor and that good investment advice, if there is such a thing, is really what they need. They wanted to hear war stories – testimonials of how I made money for clients and what instruments they should invest now. They were looking for ‘tips’.
So instead of a watered-down explanation of what financial advisors do for a living, I just gave them the strongest piece of advice I could think of:
There are three things you must do to make sure you have a sound financial future.
- Start Saving Immediately
- Save More and More Often
- Don’t Stop Saving
They laughed outloud at me. I laughed at myself. Funny as it sounds, however, that is the heart of all financial advice. But, its common sense, isn’t it? If you look at it simply, you don’t need to seek out someone to give you that advice!
The key value of a financial advisor is not his/her understanding of finance or his/her unique advice as to how to make more money with your savings, but rather the ability to get clients to follow those three simple rules. In fact, AVC constantly jokes (in a half serious way) about how we should all be retrained as therapists, psychologists and psychiatrist to better serve our clients. If you don’t follow the above 3 rules, then no matter how much money we earn above the rate of inflation in any given period, you cannot reach your goals.