How often are we misled by our desire to feel good? How many times do we make decisions to satisfy our short-term wants only to sacrifice our ability to achieve long-term success?
When we hire someone to provide a service, we want them to make us feel good, and agree with our goals and desires. We expect them to give us what we want, when we want it, much like Burger King’s slogan, “Have it your way.” We’ve had it our way so long, and so often, that it has become our expectation.
I had a client the other day say, “Wayne, I know I’m not an important client to you because you don’t make me feel like I’m special. In fact, you act like it’s okay if I leave.” Yes, it’s important to feel special and wanted, yet is this the service that’s really needed from a financial planner?
The advice provided by a financial planner can’t always be, “Have it your way.”
If the focus of the financial planner is to help you satisfy your desire to feel special, will your long term financial goals be met? If you’re working with someone who coddles you and makes you feel good no matter what direction you’re going, are they providing you sound financial advice? Have we become so egocentric that the only way to have a successful relationship is to “have it our way?”
If you want to work towards long-term financial success, this is what you need from a financial planner:
- The truth.
- Information that may result in your making a different decision at the end of the day.
- Advice on how to correct your circumstances, even if that means sacrifice or temporary financial discomfort.
- An honest, professional perspective at how your current thought processes may be impairing your ability to make sound financial decisions.
- Assistance at getting you outside your box, so you can see inside your box, and ultimately make better decisions.
- A coach. Someone who’s there to be your financial advocate, but who will also hold you accountable for your actions.
If I put your desire to feel good at a higher priority than you making good decisions, being financially successful, and mitigating the risk of failure… how can I be of any good to you as a financial planner? Only by being truthful with you and telling you what you may not want to hear am I of any real service to you. Your ability to make better financial decisions is more important than your feeling special. This is what is best for you, your family and those you love.
So yes, I am willing to lose our relationship to help you be your best. There will always be others who will let you “have it your way” because by letting you “have it your way” they will make more today. Their promise may result in you feeling better today, but will feeling good today sacrifice your ability to achieve long-term financial success?
If you want someone to be Pollyannaish at the risk of your financial future… then I am not that person. The choice is yours. Which do you prefer?