Discover your counseling type with lifestyle planning

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Shutterstock / Jiw Ingka

Financial advisors who are more interested in people than numbers may naturally turn to lifestyle planning, where money is just a tool to help people lead the life they want.

There are plenty of resources out there to help aspiring lifestyle planners find their own style – but where does someone with little or no prior knowledge start?

Learn theory

Lifestyle planning begins with the ideas of lifestyle planning pioneer George Kinder and other leaders in the field such as the founder of Inspiring Advisers, Paul Armson. Her books reveal key concepts that other influential consultants may have mentioned in podcasts and on social media.

Children’s book Life Planning For You explains the “three children’s questions” that initially puzzled Emery Little’s financial planner, Marcus Farnfield, when he discovered the concept.

“I always thought, ‘Would someone please tell me what the three questions are?’ Everyone referred to her as if I should know. “

In conclusion, the first is about how you would live your life if money weren’t an object, now and in the future. The second asks how you would change your life if you had five to ten years left. And the third encourages thinking about the things or people you would miss and what you wouldn’t do if you only had 24 hours to live.

The discovery of greats like Kinder, Armson, and American life planner and author Mitch Anthony led Farnfield to rethink: from helping his clients make the most money, to helping them get the most out of their money.

Trying to be someone you are not will fail to build deep relationships with customers

Other consultants have had similar experiences.

“When I started as a consultant, I wanted to solve customers’ problems straight away and talk about numbers – in order to offer tax-efficient solutions and thus achieve their goals,” says Tom Aykin, Private Client Director of AHR Private Clients.

“But what customers value most is the time to talk about what keeps them up at night. It’s emotional. The consultant’s role is to go under the hood and understand these emotions. “

Other sources of information

Training programs can help bring the topics contained in key reading materials to life.

Farnfield has completed a two-day course called “The Seven Stages of Money Maturity Training” with the Children’s Institute of Life Planning, which teaches listening and communication skills, among other things. It usually costs £ 875 for online training, but discounts may be available.

Not only have I found my own way in lifestyle planning; I had good guides

The course is part of the Children’s Institute’s path towards becoming a Registered Life Planner, but to achieve this, applicants must also complete the four to five day Evoke Life Planning Training and Life Planning Mentorship course.

Online training is also available through Armson’s Inspiring Advisers website, with three membership levels starting from £ 47 per month. A 30-day trial version is offered for all three levels.

Other notable courses include the Know Thyself Academy’s Certificate in Relational Financial Planning, co-founded by Tina Weeks, an early recipient of children’s registered life planner status; and the PlanHappy Lifestyle Financial Planning Academy, founded by Joslin Rhodes, the board chairman of the retirement planning company.

However, early career budding consultants may prefer free resources like podcasts and social media. Granite Coast Client Administrator Tom Redmayne, an aspiring financial planner, found the Pete Matthews Meaningful Money and Andy Harts Maven Money podcasts useful.

“You opened my eyes to what the job could be, and that money is an integral part of your personality and experience,” says Redmayne.

Farnfield believes NextGen Planners is an invaluable resource for new entrants to learn how experienced lifestyle planners operate.

What customers value most is the time to talk about what keeps them up at night

“Not only have I found my own way in lifestyle planning; I had good guides. I’ve been fortunate to work with a company that has a strong lifestyle planning approach, ”he says.

Redmayne has read books by Armson and US financial advisor to financial advisor Nick Murray. But it has helped him follow veteran financial planners on social media and blog about his journey as an aspiring financial planner that helped him apply the theory.

“I pick up the bits that resonate. I think it’s important to be yourself because if you try to be someone who you are not you won’t be able to build deep relationships with customers and you might attract some you don’t want to work with, “says he.

“When I write my blog, I think about it myself while I create and publish content.”