If managing your financial future were an Olympic event, would you make the team? Now I seriously doubt that this would ever become an Olympic event, but it is an interesting way to set your sights. If you were trying to qualify for this team, you would have very high standards to measure up to. Should you have a coach to help give you the highest probability of making the team?
What about making financial decisions? Do you make your important financial decisions based on fear, guilt or greed - or would you rather be INSPIRED? Some financial salespeople dig you a hole, then throw you a rope. My method helps you to create a vision of your future and builds you a bridge to that future.
Take a moment to imagine what your life would be like if you had an overall financial plan that was designed in accordance with what's important to you and that allowed your investments and risk management programs to work together to achieve your financial goals.
Compare this scenario to one that most people have - a assortment of financial products purchased sporadically over the years from different salespeople or companies, based on information gleaned from publications or on the advice of a friend. Which one would you rather have? Values-Based Financial Planning helps people make smart choices about their money, based on what's important to them.
As a practitioner of this method, I have seen firsthand the profound impact it can have on my client's lives. My approach will help you to discover how powerful and simple your financial life can be:
The first step in planning for your future is to discover your values. Values are those qualities and principles that are naturally or intrinsically worthwhile or desirable to you. They are the things that are truly important to you. When you talk about them, you probably feel an emotional "high" and fulfilling them is what your life is really all about.
Most financial planning starts with a discussion about goals. While goals are an important component of any sound financial plan, they don't provide you with the complete picture. Goals refer to the concrete results you are seeking. I believe the foundation of your financial plan must be built upon your values. Can you feel the power of values such as freedom, independence,providing for family, making a difference, inner peace, and fulfillment? Your values are what give you the inspiration for the achievement of your goals.
Dr. Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People has endorsed this method of financial planning and describes the process this way, "...understanding your own value system is the best way to decide what matters most to you, set your priorities, and accomplish your financial goals." It's really about taking control of the financial planning process. It's what I call empowerment.
This information is meant to be informative. If planning your financial future based on your values is right for you, I think it will be very obvious. This approach is not right for everyone, but if it's right for you, it could be one of the most meaningful experiences that you've ever had.
After all, money is only important to the extent that it allows you to enjoy what's important to you so that you can have the best quality of life.
So, answer this question: "What's important about money to you?"
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