CATEGORIZE YOUR GOALS
When most people think of financial advisors or wealth managers, they usually only consider the investing side
----- likely because most of the financial press focuses on the markets and individual securities. As important as this is, the planning part of the equation is really the critical part.
Simply put, the purpose of financial planning is to enable clients to achieve their goals in the most efficient manner possible:
- Our clients come up with goals important to them and their family
- We develop optimal strategies and systems to achieve those goals
Up until a few years ago, I only considered two types of goals:
1) The Bling: Things I want to have (money, property, prestige, security)
2) The Bucket List: Things I want to do (enjoy fancy restaurants, take trips, have experiences)
These are great starting points, but I'd like to add two other categories of goals to the list (though there are probably more):
The Internal: Who I want to be (health, wealthy, and wise; a happier person
----- and perhaps items listed in Categories 1 and 2 are a way to achieve this; a humanitarian, athlete, or writer; a better partner, friend, parent, child, or neighbour)
The External: What I want to create (a family, charity, blog, art, music, literature)
This is not the definitive list, but if you've only thought about goals like I used to
-----exclusively of the "having" and "doing" nature
----- try opening yourself up to the "being" and "creating" sides of Options 3 and 4. Expanding on the types of goals you set may trigger long-forgotten desires (such as wanting to be a great cook), which will then allow your advisor to factor them into your financial plan (such as going to Italy to take a culinary course).
When we look back on our lives, I do believe those who have balanced their goals across the four categories above, and others, will likely be more content with the life they lived.