Not everyone is going to like what I do, and that’s something I can accept;
if everyone liked what I did, I probably wouldn’t be playing anything of depth.
Have you ever struggled finding the right words to make yourself understood when talking about money to a family member or financial professional? Try using our ValuesMap found at the end of this post.
A ValuesMap™ helps you discover your relationship with your financial Life by writing your financial theme Values down and then associating it with the rest of your financial Life; Cash. Return, Tax, Risk, Time, and Giving. The practical benefit of this exercise is to give you the space for self-reflection which will enable you to better communicate your financial self to your personal and professional decision partners. It provides a simple format for you to articulate your Values, and relate it to the other aspects of your financial Life. Giving this information to a financial professional ought to facilitate solutions which are customized just for you.
Let me give you an example by introducing you to three characters. Jean, John, and Alice. Each is a composite of someone I know and have worked with in the past. Each is moving through a different life theme and wrestling with their own unique financial decisions. Each want to be properly prepared for their next financial meeting. They all want to communicate clearly what their financial goals are. They all want their financial perspective to be heard.
Jean is 35, she is a new single working mother. She is not satisfied with her current employment. She knows that unless her work has significance, she won’t be able to bring her full attention to her child’s needs.
John is 50, happily married and climbing up the corporate Ladder with 2 children. His main concern is building a sufficient nest egg for a long happy retirement.
Alice is 70, a widow and lives alone. She has 2 children, and 3 grandchildren. Because she doesn’t want to become a burden to her children, Alice is concerned that she will have enough income to support her life style for the rest of her life while satisfying her desire to give to her children and grandchildren.
In the sample ValuesMap™ below you’ll notice that even though Jean, John, and Alice, all face different financial concerns, they are all still able to use the same 7 MoneyCapsules® as a guide for a more meaningful conversation and as a structure for making sound financial decisions.
Jean begins with a work/life balance concern. Under Cash she is asking her financial professional for help regarding cash flow.
John is concerned about financial risks, and building a retirement nest egg. Under Return the question he is asking is straight forward; to reach his goal of doubling his net worth in 15 years, what type of investment return will be needed. Under Risk John perceives a risk to his family if premature death, disability and Long term care should arise. He is looking for choices which could address these needs. Under Time he knows that in approximately 10 years his daughter will be getting married, and wants to make sure he has the liquidity.
Alice’s primary concern is providing for life time giving and a legacy for her children and grandchildren. Under Tax she is looking for tax strategies, and under Time she is concerned about the RMDs, (Required Minimum Distributions,) which begin when she turns 70.5.
Remember- You don’t need to have the answers. You only need to ask the right question.
And that’s important because even if your financial advisor gives you a great answer, if it is to the wrong question, the information will be of little value to you.
Try completing your own ValuesMap™ the next time you’re preparing for a conversation with your financial advisor. It works equally well when talking to your personal decision partners, like a spouse, family member, or friend. Once you share your ValuesMap™ with your Advisor, you may be pleasantly surprised that recommendations will seem to be more customized and personalized. And if they’re not, you can always try giving your ValuesMap™ to a new financial advisor.