Seeking Financial Advice? Understand yourself first…
Plato wrote a few centuries ago that the ‘cure of a part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole’.

A glimpse at most adverts for financial advice seems to contradict his philosophy.

Most adverts suggest self-managed super funds, or low-fee investment funds, or commercial property as paths to our financial prosperity.

Thanks to years of the type of culture, practices and processes that have pushed and promoted their great products as ‘the answer’ for our better financial lives we now have a Royal Commission that the industry didn’t want and most Australians don’t understand.

But Australians do understand that they can’t trust the majority of the stuff from today’s financial advice industry.

Financial advice isn’t something that we ‘get‘. It’s not like a drug that solves a specific pain.

Good financial advice is something that ‘moves‘ us.

Specifically ‘moves‘ us to new thinking, new habits, different mindsets – it works first on us, and for us, because that, not the product, is where the value is.

For instance, Russ Alan Prince wrote a series of books over ten years ago based on his research which studied people’s different financial personalities. I had a hearty conversation whilst lunching with him near his home outside upstate New York when we both shared a mutual alliance in California.

Russ’s research showed that no matter how good one’s plan or suite of products might be, unchecked or unmanaged, one’s personal preferences can easily ruin the best of plans.

For instance, he found the Accumulator will always first and foremost just focus on the accumulation of money, which might sound good to the untrained, but not all accumulation is necessarily good accumulation.

Likewise, the financial phobic will always prefer not to talk or address money issues as they are often unsettled by money. The independent just wants the freedom money can provide, but freedom itself constantly means different things to different people.

The mogul uses money purely for controlling purposes which can easily cause division among partners and families. The family steward will always seek to help family even to the detriment of them helping themselves.

The innovator likes their money approach to be as innovative as possible, which has the problems of anything at the bleeding edge, whilst the VIP likes to use money firstly for their position or status it provides.

Beware any financial advice that promises to primarily provide for us.

Good financial advice ‘moves‘ us – makes us first realise that we may need to first work or understand ourselves, our habits, mindsets or paradigms that, in fact, may or may not have been hindering the achievement of the financial certainty we seek.

Plato was onto something. Treat the whole before buying that self-managed fund?

What do you think?



About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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