Coaching vs. Planning Philosophy

Financial coaching focuses on the person vs. the portfolio. Anyone who has seen Robert Redford’s film, The Horse Whisperer, recalls the scene of a caller saying, “I’ve heard you help people with horse problems.” And the caller is told, “Truth is, I help horses with people problems.” As investor coaches, we help fix portfolios with people problems. We understand that portfolios to a great extent are a reflection of the people who manage them or those hired to manage them. Coaching is rooted in the fact that most people with financial goals fail to attain them. A financial coach recognizes that reaching goals is about dealing with people, perceptions, and behaviors. Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” Human behavior tends toward procrastination, short-sightedness, and repeating mistakes. Coaching deals with all three of these behaviors.

Coaching provides ongoing education, encouragement, and yes, occasional tough love. Coaching can help remove as much emotion as humanly possible from the financial process. It develops a defined and disciplined approach to reaching financial goals. As coaches, we understand that it’s easier to maintain a consistent approach when you understand the “why” and the “how.”

Ask someone their philosophy on religion or politics and they tend to be quick and clear on exactly where they stand. Ask the same question about their financial philosophy and you tend to get random, vague responses that change with economic weather. As coaches, we help clients to clearly define their long-term financial philosophy. We then help clients implement actions consistent with their investment philosophy by helping them develop and follow their own investment policy statement. We know the rules for losing weight: eat less and exercise more. If losing weight is so simple, why do so many struggle? Financial coaches recognize that, like managing weight, reaching financial goals has a lot to do with attitudes and perceptions that drive behaviors. Our role is to help you overcome the attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors that sabotage your financial future. We can help you implement proven strategies based on the time-tested work of Nobel Prize winning economists.

To know if you are currently working with a financial coach vs. a financial advisor, please go to the link marked Investor Quiz and answer the 20 Must Answer Questions. If you cannot give a clear and definite yes, the answer must be no.

What should you expect from a coach?