In one way or another, many of our new clients arrive here “financially embarrassed”. They may not be in poor financial condition per se, but they are often not well prepared for the next phase of their financial life. In many instances, these clients suffer from a disconnect between outward “material wealth” and “real wealth”. They may live in big houses and drive nice cars but they don’t have enough saved for retirement or anything else.
The Back Story
While the particular reasons vary, individuals generally are “financially embarrassed” because of two fundamental reasons: First, they have a flawed understanding of what drives good financial outcomes; and second, they rely on those who aren’t real advisors for financial/investment advice. The first step out of the “financially embarrassed” state is to understand that how much you save is more important than how much you make. Further, once you save, you need to seek un-conflicted advice.
As holistic financial advisors, we counsel clients to focus on progress towards long-term goals. We try to nudge clients to make choices that move them closer towards their goals. Because we don’t sell investments or insurance products, we can render clear and candid advice. Sometimes, we have to help clients move away from fantasy towards reality. None of this is can be done overnight. All of this requires a high level of commitment and trust.
The Best Protection
Moving from “financially embarrassed” to financial security also requires a better understanding of the inner workings and misplaced motivations of the conventional financial services industry. The best protection against being “financially embarrassed” is to recognize the underlying costs and conflicts of interest within most financial services entities. Despite all the fancy marketing, investment and insurance products rarely solve underlying financial problems. In many cases, these products make the underlying problems worse.
Realizing that you might be “financially embarrassed” is the first step towards recovery. What you do with this realization is the next step. Ready for a real conversation?