When most people think of financial advisors, they likely assume we only focus on wealth. But before we help our clients set financial goals, we first talk about what’s important to them to identify their values – personally and for their family.
We talk about life, about challenges, about possibilities. We talk about how to make an impact on our communities, our companies, and most importantly, our families. Financial planning starts with looking at the bigger picture and designing your life around the things that matter most to you.
When you align your financial decisions with your family values, you are more likely to feel fulfilled and satisfied with your life, rather than just focusing on accumulating wealth. Here are some specific reasons why it’s important to include your values in financial planning:
It helps you make decisions. Having a clear sense of your values can guide you in making financial decisions that support those values. For example, if you value sustainability, you may choose to invest in companies that have a strong track record in environmental stewardship. Or if you value giving back to your community, you may choose to focus on financial planning tools that allow you to maximize your philanthropic contributions.
Provides direction. Your values can help you set goals and prioritize where you want to allocate your resources. Maybe you feel strongly about the quality of your child’s education. Identifying education as a primary value will impact your financial plan and how we work together to reach your goals. Or if your goal in retirement is to be able to travel, identifying that objective will guide your judgment to prepare for your future.
Increases satisfaction. When you prioritize what matters most to you, you are more likely to feel fulfilled and satisfied with your life. By aligning your financial decisions with your values, you can feel good about the impact your money is having on the world – and your family’s future – and feel more confident in your financial decisions.
With the busy pace of life, it can be hard to take the time to bring the big picture into focus. But the fulfillment it will bring is well worth it.
At Wymer Brownlee, the ultimate goal of investing and financial planning isn’t about the accumulation of monetary wealth but what you can do with your wealth. It’s about how you are free to spend your time and the experiences you get to share with those you care about. Wealth is exploring all the national parks in your camper with your family, nurturing relationships and connecting with friends in a new city, or simply having the time to do the things you love with those that matter most. It’s these experience assets that make life worth living and saving for.
Blog by Stephen O’Neill, Senior Wealth Advisor & Shareholder