Why Financial Planners are a lot like Personal Trainers

Contributed by: Matt Trujillo, CFP® Matt Trujillo

I recently had the opportunity to work with a personal trainer at my local gym. My wife was kind enough to purchase some sessions for me, and it was her gentle way of letting me know I’ve added on a few pounds! When I sat down with the trainer at my initial session I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between what I do for a living and what personal trainers do.

Personal Trainer's line of questioning: (I’m paraphrasing)

Trainer: What were you hoping to accomplish over the next 8 weeks?

Me: I would like to develop some good habits so I can get back on a systematic workout routine.

Trainer: Ok, I can certainly help with that…anything else on your mind?

Me: Yes I would like to lose 10 pounds.

Trainer: That’s definitely doable, but you’re going to have to push yourself in the gym as well as practice disciplined eating habits outside of the gym. Losing weight is a science and your body is a machine.  Most people lack the mental discipline and have a hard time reaching their goals because of their behavior.

When I left the gym I couldn’t help but think about his comments the whole drive home. At The Center, our entire focus is on goals-based financial planning.

Our initial line of questioning with our clients is very similar to a personal trainer:

We Ask: How can we help you? What were you hoping to accomplish? What matters most to you with regards to your finance and money?

We Get Answers Like: I want to retire at 65. I want to be financially independent by 60. I want to leave a financial legacy.  I want to make sure my family is taken care of if something were to happen to me. I need help with my investment decisions.

These are just a few of the most common answers. Our mission is to provide world class service in helping our clients achieve their goals.  We do this by practicing a disciplined investment approach and by looking at all facets of a client’s financial life. 

If you haven’t taken the time to establish specific financial goals then I strongly encourage you to do so. Financial planners can help you identify and define those goals, just like your personal trainer can help you build and define your muscles.

Matthew Trujillo, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt currently assists Center planners and clients, and is a contributor to Money Centered.

Any opinions are those of Matthew Trujillo, CFP® and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss.