Skip to main content
Startup Office - Franklin Financial Advisors

NG —Your financial life is a journey. Plan accordingly.

It seems that when outsiders regard any specialized profession, things tend to look pretty complicated. Surgeon, airline pilot, financial advisor – doing any of these jobs well requires a great deal of study and hard work. And yes, they’re all complex. But the basics underlying the journeys taken by each of these roles are surprisingly simple. They’re also surprisingly similar.

Understand where you are today.

This may sound easy enough. The surgeon explains that you have a fractured bone in your hand. The pilot tells you you’re taking off from Denver. The financial advisor? Typically, pinpointing exactly where you are in your financial journey is a bit less straightforward. At the very least, it’s difficult for most people to do a good job of figuring it out on their own. 

We see this almost every day. Intelligent, successful, responsible people of all ages come to us because on some level, they’re smart enough to have realized what they don’t know about their finances. Which is a great starting point.

One of the most important aspects of our team’s work? Helping to demystify the complexities of financial planning. Fortunately, we’re always happy to help, because we like people and we genuinely enjoy our work.

Have a clear picture of where you want to go.

Often, we find that our clients have more clarity on this point. Do you hope to wind down your career by age 60? Do you want to travel extensively? Have a nice quiet place on a lake? Be able to provide structured, protected financial security for your heirs? 

Everyone’s goals are different. What they all have in common is that they are objective, definable goals. 

Of course, we also meet with new clients whose vision of their future is still pretty vague. You want to retire comfortably. You want steady, predictable income for the rest of your life. You want to have something to pass along to your children. These are all worthy goals. But still, we can help clear away the fog and define them in ways that make them easier to reach. None of this stuff is particularly mysterious. But you do need to understand it.

Create a clear path that will get you from point A to point B.

Once you’ve established where you are and where you want to end up, it becomes much easier to plan the route that connects these two points. You want your injured hand to be good as new? The surgeon plans to reset the broken bone with a titanium screw. You want to fly to Boston? The pilot will take off from Denver and fly east. (Of course there’s more to it than that, but this is an article about your financial future).

In our world, the path that gets you to your destination may involve some complexity. But the fundamentals – the overall strategy, the types of investment vehicles you’ll use, the ways we’ll measure progress over time – really are pretty simple once we boil it all down.

Actually, one valuable aspect of expertise is the ability to make complex topics understandable to the layperson. Which is something everyone on our team takes seriously. After all, we do it every day.

Realize that you can’t possibly plan every little detail in advance.

If life were 100% predictable, it’d actually be pretty boring. Things change. New realities emerge. Unforeseen twists and turns are part of nearly every journey. The trick is to be prepared, to be knowledgeable, and to accept going in that any plan will almost certainly require fine-tuning along the way. 

We would never expect you to make course corrections to your financial plan on your own. But you can rely on us to be there for you when new circumstances suggest that it’s time to make some sort of a change.

One final thought on basics. Whether you’re a surgeon, a pilot, a bus driver or barista, I believe you’ll do better work and have more fun doing it if you stay focused on a few core values: Put people first. Take time to really listen. And in every situation, every time, seek to do the right thing. 

If this worldview makes sense to you, maybe it’s time to set up an appointment for us to meet. Obviously, I don’t yet know the particulars of your own journey. But I’m confident the conversation will be worthwhile. And it’s a great place to begin.

About the Author