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Thursday Thread: The 3 Reasons Why People in the Throes of Life Partner with a Financial Planner Thumbnail

Thursday Thread: The 3 Reasons Why People in the Throes of Life Partner with a Financial Planner

I dare you to google “Should I work with a financial planner?” 

First you may see a few ads from the (likely) largest financial giants, who allocate millions each year to make sure their brand arrives at the top of your search page. If you continue to scroll (wait, who goes to the 2nd page of google search results nowadays?) you will find countless articles naming all the different reasons why a person should or should not partner with a financial planner.

It is overwhelming.

It is impersonal.

It can cause more questions than answers…

Also, there is a chance this article may end up on one of those pages, too.

Makes me chuckle.

But at the risk of adding to the virtual pile, I want to take a different angle to the question: “Why should someone in my position partner with a financial planner?”

The reasoning behind anyone's willingness to seek out advice concerning their personal finances can be filtered down into 3 pursuits. In fact, I would wager that we make all decisions in the search of these 3 things:




Before I go on, I need to give credit where credit is due. These ideas begin with author Seth Godin in his world renown book This is Marketing, with my own insight included. Let’s get to it…


“People do not want what you make them. They want how it will make them feel.” When it comes to partnering with a financial planner, people may say:

I want to be wealthy.

I don’t want to run out of money.

I want to purchase this.

I want to give this kind of life to my family.

But when we look past these desires, we find that people are actually in search of a feeling. For many, the feeling of security is a primary driver. People also want to feel content, or relieved, or hopeful, or in control.

People don’t want spreadsheets; they want to feel empowered and organized.  People don’t want to know how much their investment account returned this year; they want to feel like everything is OK and they are on track to achieve their own desired financial outcome. People don’t care how much is in an account they just inherited; they want to feel connected to the person who gave it to them.

Discovering these root motives help us begin understanding our anxiety surrounding the money mindset of scarcity or abundance. Yes, people are anxious on both sides. 

People don’t want financial planning. They want how financial planning might make them feel.


People like me do things like this. 

One of the most public reasons we make any decision exists in how we perceive people see us, and how we see ourselves in comparison to others. It begins with the idiom “keeping up with the Joneses.”

We need a rubric, or standard, to measure our lives.  We often look to friends, family, or neighbors to gauge our status. The problem with this tactic is that all of these people are also playing the same game, so the standard is arbitrary. It is a moving target. And everyone has their own personal financial situation and story that they cannot escape. We usually think of this contest in context of high levels of material wealth, nice things, extravagant trips, etc. But we also judge the standard of our generosity and overall financial wisdom by comparing it to the people closest to us. 

“People like me hire a financial planner.”

“I want to be seen as a person who has a personal financial planner”

Or the inverse…

“People like me handle their finances by themselves.”

“I know someone who had a horrible experience with a financial professional, and I will not make the same mistake.”

“I want to be seen as someone who does not need a financial planner.”


For some, this is the hardest reason to face, because it digs the deepest. Human beings were designed for connection. Most of our own personal baggage exists around a relationship with someone else. The foundation of connection is trust. We trust someone when we know we are acknowledged, are accepted, and believe that the person has our best interests at heart.

We partner with financial planners because we don’t want to walk alone. 

We want someone to know why we make the financial decisions we do. And we want someone to know how hard it is being us (sometimes). We want someone to guide us, to tell us “Knowing everything I know to be true of you, if I were you, I would...”

We want grace on the other side of decisions.

We want someone to actively listen to our stories, concerns, and dreams.

We want someone to give us professional opinions, not just options.

We want someone to help us take care of what we do have and be wise in pursuing that which we do not.

This is why an algorithm or artificial intelligence will never replace the relationship provided by a personal financial advisor and planner. Those transactional relationships will never give us what we are actually looking for.

People choose to hire a financial planner because they are searching for a specific combination of three things:




So, what is your combination? What feelings are you struggling to find? What status are you hoping to achieve? What kind of connection are you looking for?

You are the decision-maker, the boss, when it comes to gathering your professional team. And when it comes to financial advice, a real professional will be in the business of serving you in a way that a google search cannot. 

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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.