Financial Planning - Knowing is very different from doing
Hope your Finances are being managed well!!!
I want to share a story that tells us about how knowing financial planning is different from actually doing it after knowing.
This was way back in April 2010 I received a reference of a young couple both Chartered Accountants with two little kids, well-read, well placed, really knowledgeable and extremely sensible. After a couple of meetings explaining to them about financial planning, what services we offer, doing the financial health check, and exchanging a lot of emails and calls giving away a lot of free advice, they said they could do it themselves. Between them, they agreed they had enough knowledge to handle it. The usual I know all this, I can do it myself, don't see much value add kind of reasons. So this prospect went from being warm to cold and into our mailing list to stay in touch. Then on, it was just the birthday messages and monthly newsletters that kept us connected. The prospect had moved over to Singapore or Malaysia or somewhere and I lost touch. Suddenly sometime in September 2011, almost 18 months after I last connected, on a long-distance call it was him again, saying they were visiting India in early October and would like to meet. What caused the change of mind, was my first question to them when we met. And I should put on record how honest he was when he said to do a thing you should have the awareness and you should have the capability. We had the awareness but not the capability. I am not saying, we did not know how to do it, we DID NOT DO IT (he stressed), that's all. We did not find the time, we would start and stay on course for a while, then we would get busy and stop, so we made a sketchy plan and followed it for a while and in parts and then. We actually did not have the capability to be consistent and to follow through. And I have come to understand financial planning is more about doing than about knowing.
We as financial planners are behavior modifiers. We encourage our clients to acquire good habits and give up bad ones. That was a moment of realization for me. It redefined my outlook on what job I was doing not just give advice but ensure that advice is acted upon. Our key service was the rigor of the process, the discipline, and unwavering commitment to care rather than knowledge and competence to crunch numbers. The quote that went, "People really don't care how much you know, but they would like to know how much you care!" seemed to make more sense.
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