Beyond Financial Planning and Investment Advice

Written by Chase Boardman, BMSS Wesson Wealth Solutions

Picture this. You sign up for a bodybuilding competition a few months from now. To prepare, you hire a personal trainer. During your first session, the trainer tells you to only work out your left arm. You think this is a bit odd, but you keep going back. The same thing happens over and over—until the competition comes. You show up with one muscular arm, and that’s it. Extremely underprepared, you lose in a landslide.

This strategy sounds crazy in the context of working out, but many people don’t realize this often happens in financial advising. Just replace the idea of the bodybuilding competition with a big financial decision—like buying real estate, retiring, or transferring wealth to your kids and grandkids. Then think of your investments as the “left arm” in the bodybuilding analogy. Will you address only one part of the whole?

The current financial industry is, at best, primarily focused on providing investment advice. Finding a financial advisor/planner who works on your entire “body” of financial health gives a more comprehensive perspective. This includes tax planning, insurance analysis, estate planning, consideration of work benefits, and many other aspects of optimizing your financial resources.

Taking this a step further, it would also be inadequate for a bodybuilding trainer to focus only on weightlifting without considering your nutrition, sleeping habits, and life outside the gym in general. Similarly, in financial planning and investment advice, you want to look at your entire life and all the resources and obstacles that come with that.

With a full understanding of your financial and non-financial goals, an advisor is equipped to give holistic advice. At BMSS Wesson Wealth Solutions, we break this down to look at allocations of your time, talents, treasure, and relationships.

Identifying your “pain points” in life is also one of the most important things an advisor can do with a client. What keeps you up late at night? Are you going through a significant career change? Are your kids going off to college? Are you planning to retire within the next few years? Have you just sold your business, or are you planning on selling your business soon? Has a loved one passed away recently, giving you a different perspective on life and legacy? Are you reconsidering your true goals and priorities?

All of these “pain points” present opportunities to reallocate aspects of your life and move toward your ideal life. Will the steps you take always be optimal from a financial perspective? Probably not—but will you end up happier, with a greater sense of purpose, and leaving a better legacy than before? Almost undeniably, yes.

An approach like this will lead to conclusions about not only your financial planning but also your life planning. For example, you may realize that you have the resources to hire an assistant at work so you can reallocate your time to spend more hours with your family. Or, the outcome of life planning may mean re-prioritizing your goals, such as thinking less about net worth and more about giving or relationships.

Asking the right questions is key. Understanding your whole life situation is crucial. Aligning your financial life with your goals and priorities is the ultimate goal. And the only way for an advisor to provide integrated solutions is to look beyond financial planning and investment advice—toward your true ideal life. Don’t be satisfied with anything less.

BMSS Wesson Wealth Solutions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMSS, LLC, Advisors & CPAs, and is a registered investment advisor. BMSS Wesson provides integrated strategies for individuals and families with $1M+ in assets under management, guiding clients to steward their wealth and discover their ideal life. Contact: 205-982-5555 ▪

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