How Values-Based Financial Planning Works in Practice
If you are seeking financial advice, you may find that different advice firms use a variety of approaches in gathering information from you and deciding what’s important to include, writes Jordan Wong, a Financial Planner with Chesterton House. Many firms will take a product-driven approach, focusing purely on financial strategies and investment plans. Some will consider your goals and what you want to achieve, and build these into a financial plan for you to consider.
We believe that great financial planning goes much deeper than that. Building a plan that inspires you and offers the possibility of turning your aspirations into reality requires a deep understanding of not only what you want to achieve, but why.
At Chesterton House, we use a method called Values-Based Financial PlanningTM , created by financial guru Bill Bachrach. So, what is Values-Based Financial Planning and how do we use it with our clients?
As the title suggests, Values-Based Financial PlanningTM is about building your Financial Plan based on your own unique values - the core beliefs and understandings that are unique to you as a person. Our experience has been that taking time to explore and define your values at the outset of your financial planning relationship with your adviser makes your plan highly personal to you, and gives you the impetus to follow it through to completion. Why create a financial plan if it doesn’t truly reflect how you feel and what’s most important to you in your life?
That’s why, before we begin to talk about the actions in your Financial Plan, the first exercise we carry out is to find out what’s important about money to you as an individual. To do this we use a tool called a Financial Road Map® which we used to uncover your ‘Values Staircase’.
It’s not very often that we give real thought to what’s most important to each of us, and this simple exercise can be hugely beneficial in understanding the link between the actions that you take with your finances and achieving goals that are vitally important to you.
Your values are the underpin to any advice that we give you in your Financial Plan - indeed, fulfilling your values becomes the reason for your plan.
Once we have explored your values, your Financial Road Map® goes on to determine the goals that you want to achieve. We will help you to put a price on each of your goals together with a proposed date for its achievement in a way that you won’t have experienced before. We will help you to set out not only any financial goals that you may have, but other goals that are important to you in developing and living ‘a great life’.
Whether we go on to create a Financial Plan for you or not, completing your Financial Road Map® is a powerful and worthwhile experience. Many of our clients have reported how, for the first ever time, they have a clear vision of their future and the things that they want to achieve, and a real optimism about getting it done.
If you ask us to, we will go on to help you to create a long-term strategy to achieve these goals from your current financial position, in the form of your Personal Financial Plan. By implementing a plan purposely designed to give you the best probability of achieving your goals, you will ultimately experience the values revealed by your Financial Road Map®, enjoying greater security and fulfilment as a direct result of your actions.
At Chesterton House, we build strong and enduring personal relationships with our clients using the principles of Values-Based Financial PlanningTM. An effective Financial Plan is not just a dry written document but a lifelong journey, and we aim to be by your side throughout to help you to achieve and celebrate everything that you want in life.
If this sounds like the sort of relationship that you would enjoy, contact us now to take the first step.
Jordan Wong, Dip PFS, BSc (Hons), DIS
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