Is it Time for You to “Come Clean” with Your Financial Planner?


Recently, I had an awakening experience with a long time client.  For years, my client has been very focused on investment returns and fees.  We began working together during the downturn in 2008 (he had been with the firm, but working with another planner for years before that).  This client is always worried about losing too much or not taking enough risk; when in reality, he needs no more than his current risk profile to help reach his goals.  I struggle to find ways to prove to him how solid his financial and investment plan is.

During our recent meeting, our conversation took a different turn than conversations of the past.  He got very emotional and disclosed to me that money really makes him very anxious.  He went on to tell me about some very personal things that have happened in his past, both with personal relationships and in his business life that made him distrust his ability to make good financial decisions.  To this day, he still gets nervous about every financial decision, and is never sure he is making the right one – he is always waiting for the something to go horribly wrong. 

Our meeting lasted much longer than normal and he apologized for “breaking down”.  I, in turn, thanked him for giving me the profound insight I needed to serve him better as his planner.  I now understand his view of money, and can find ways to address his fears and anxieties like I never could have before.  I thanked him for having enough trust in me to share his story.

Many of us have “money” stories that are not kind – those that cause us to feel fear and anxiety, and those that may still interfere with our ability to make rational financial decisions. 

If you have things in your history that you feel impact your financial decision making, share them with your financial planner.  With the understanding of your money fears, your financial planner will be able to assist you, on an even deeper level, in making the best financial decisions for your future.

Sandra Adams, CFP® , CeFT™ is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.

Any opinions are those of Sandra D. Adams and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Every investor's situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.