A Financial Conversation Framework

With more family time than the rest of the year, the holidays can be an opportune moment to talk about money and investing. But where do you start? Before you get into any technical aspects of planning or investing, we recommend you start with goals, values, fears and plans for success in money and life. It’s easier than it sounds. Here is a three-part framework we find leads to great conversations:

1. Describe Your Investment Values

When skiing or riding a bike, we tend to go in the direction we are looking. Look right, turn right. Investment values are similar. Keep your eyes on your goals and you’re more likely to reach them. As a conversation guide, talk about the five values statements below. Which ones best match your investment goals? How would you rank them?

  • I want to provide financial assistance for family members
  • I want to continue to contribute to the organizations I care about
  • Tax optimization is a priority for me
  • Creating lasting generational wealth is important to me
  • Passing on what I’ve learned is important to me

2. Reflect On Threats & Risks

Fear is a potent motivator. Once we set our investment values, it’s helpful to ask how fear plays a role in our investment life. Here are some common fear-based financial motivators. Talk about these with your family members. Do their fears match yours?

  • I don’t want to become the source of financial stress for my family
  • I worry that I don’t have a large enough financial cushion
  • I fear that I have not sufficiently planned for the unknown
  • I’m concerned about the financial stability of my family if something happened to me
  • I worry that I won’t be able to sustain my lifestyle

3. Plan For Success

Successful entrepreneurs practice optimism. Assume you will be successful in your endeavors and you will take more risks and end up happier – getting what you want. If you find yourself always planning for disaster it’s possible that you’ve forgotten where you want to end up. Which of these financial upsides is a priority for you and your family members?

  • Financial security to me means ownership over how and where I use my time
  • I want complete control over the future of how I work (retirement or not)
  • I want the ability to pursue my passions without consulting my bank account
  • I want to spend money on gaining and sustaining physical and mental fitness for life
  • I want the freedom to pay for the things I want without feeling financially constrained

Halfway to January 

With 11 business days left in the investment year, we are using this framework to help people define what they want out of their investments in 2018. There is still time!

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