Are the longest songs the best songs? Could Charles Dickens have gotten his point across in Bleak House prior to the 800th page? Yes, I know the irony involved with a blogger discussing the concept of verbosity.
I believe that many people never accomplish anything (financially) because their financial plans are too extensive. I have been in the business of providing people financial plans for about 10 years. And over that time I have given people 75 page financial plans, and I have provided them with 1 page financial plans. I have discovered that the majority of people don’t want to know how a watch works, but simply want to know what time it is. Therefore, my financial plans are now about 3 pages long.
As you can imagine, many financial planners will disagree with this, but those are also the financial planners that charge lots of money to write 50 page plans that perpetuate the illusion that financial planning is something mystical. Financial planning is about helping people accomplish their financial goals, but what often happens with the “50 page financial planners” is that they view their job as creating a novel of evidence promoting the value of the stock market. Yes, I realize that some clients require their financial plans to be quite extensive, but then again those clients aren’t for me.
I simply subscribe to the method of teaching people to focus on three goals at a time, and then moving on to new goals once the previous goals are accomplished. I also tend to look for possible roadblocks that will hamper a client’s financial growth. My point is that in these challenging financial times people need focus, not novels. I literally use to write 75 page financial plans for 24 year olds. That is ridiculous. If I can’t summarize a client’s financial life in three pages, then I stink at my job. I’m the one that is supposed to understand it so much that I can simplify it and re-explain it.
Do you have a financial novel? Is it actually helping you?
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.