Avoiding Plannerspeak-Making Financial Planning Understandable Again

The language and process that the financial planning industry uses has an often well-deserved reputation of being difficult to understand, even downright confusing. With all the numbers, statistics, terminology, formulas, etc. used in analyzing and building a financial plan, it can be easy to fall into “plannerspeak” when working through the financial planning process with clients. The result of “plannerspeak” is that people pretty much tune out and all of the important information, hard work and effort that has gone into the planning process is lost. I’m pretty sure that in many situations, people hear something very similar to what the “scientist” tries to explain in the video below, when listening to a typical financial planner/advisor:

Time To Change The Model

Unfortunately, this phenomenon still exists in much of the industry and I think that it is sometimes done on purpose by advisors to make them seem more knowledgeable. Too many financial planners operate in what I like to call “Wizard of Oz Mode” where you give the planner a big stack of information and they go away (behind their curtain) and magically create your financial plan. I guess they figure that when they do that and combine a bunch of tech talk with a huge multi-hundred page printed report in a 3-ring binder they are able to justify their fancy office and high-cost investment products. Financial Planning should be understandable, accessible and affordable but this “old way” of doing things makes financial planning the exact opposite.

The good news is that there’s a better way to do things and that is through collaboration and communication. Working collaboratively with your planner “forces” you (in a good way) to take ownership of your financial plan because you are actively involved in it’s creation. Your financial planner should work side-by-side with you, providing explanation, guidance, accountability and support. The planning tools and software should be designed for this type of environment and allow you to work on and update your plan whenever you need to. The result of this collaborative planning process is that you are involved from the very beginning and any questions you have can be answered along the way.

Here at Financial Clarity Partners we follow this collaborative model. We promise to work with you from the beginning, explain ideas and concepts in plain English and make sure you are comfortable with the answers we give. This means that “plannerspeak” goes way down and the success rate of your financial plan goes way up. You can also be assured that you won’t find any “Turbo Encabulators” in your plan!

Ready To Start Collaborating?

If you are interested in finding out more about our collaborative financial planning process please Contact Us to set up a no obligation introductory meeting. You can also get a jump on your own financial plan by creating your free financial dashboard. You’ll be able to get a consolidated view of all your financial accounts, keep track of your net worth and even create a budget to track your spending. Just click the button below to get started.


Image courtesy of Véronique Debord-Lazaro via (CC BY-SA 2.0)  Flickr

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