Financial Planning Needs a Makeover!

Usually when people (like me) rail on the planning profession for being non-transparent, they are referring to annuities, crypto, private REITs, etc. Here’s a new take: Financial planning can be opaque, vague, and perceived as non-valuable by the consumer. I’m about to give financial planning a transparency makeover.

Get out that eyelash comb!

Nobody knows what financial planning is

Do you remember the children’s book entitled Are You My Mother?

My dad used to read it to me. It’s about a baby bird whose mom flies away from the nest, causing it to wander around lost, needlessly asking the same question to a bulldozer, a dog, etc., “Are you my mother?” I am on a similar mission with this question, “What is financial planning?” Every time I ask someone, the person responds back with a confused expression as if I’ve asked them something absurd.

I remember a close friend of mine and his wife hired an advisor I recommended. We’re sitting on my couch watching our kids play, and he says, “Thanks for introducing us to Steven. He’s going to get started on our portfolio after he does our financial plan.”

“Financial plan – whatever that means!” chimes in his wife from the kitchen, “Do you want lettuce or tomato on your sandwich?”

Another time, an older relative of mine was telling me about her first meeting with a financial advisor. “He wants to sell my stocks and buy some mutual funds or somethings. And then I have to pay another $4,000 for a financial plan. Do you think I need it? I’ve already retired. What else is there to plan for?”

Listen to that.