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The Art & Science of Financial Planning

In the last few years, we have seen the world of financial planning evolve and change. With the emergence of technology, robo advisers, and more information available to provide education, the choices people have with which to plan for their financial future is more diverse than ever before. But when it comes to taking action on your financial decisions, are you really getting what you need to make smart and effective choices for you and your family?

The practice of any financial discipline requires both art and science to achieve optimal results. An over-reliance on either one will likely result in a sub-standard outcome. Therefore, to be truly successful, one must use a balance of both art and science when identifying potential problems and solutions. Many financial decisions are based on emotion and belief, which can lead to ineffective results. When working with a financial adviser, look for them to use both art and science to explain how money works for you.

Think of the great Leonardo da Vinci. He is remembered as one of the greatest innovators in history because he used science to master and refine his art. All of his masterpieces involved the perfect balance of the two. Financial planning requires the same type of focus. The science part might be obvious, but how does art play a part in successful financial planning? Art includes the ability to be creative when applying solutions to problems. There are many strategies that allow you to take advantage of the positive aspects of financial products, while eliminating the negative. The ability to be strategic means being willing to look at things from a different perspective….using creativity to solve problems.

Art also includes the ability to communicate in real world language. Dealing with your finances and all the choices that abound, can be intimidating, even to the most astute. Don’t you want an adviser who takes the time to make sure you understand how all your decisions are working cohesively together to accomplish the result you desire? This includes a thorough explanation of all areas of your financial life such as Protection, Savings, Growth, Cash Flow and Debt. Many advisers only focus on a few of these, not all of them. Failure to look at all these areas will result in you not achieving success. Look for an adviser that speaks to you in terms you understand. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to get clarity on a decision before taking action. It is up to you to know what is going on in your financial world.

The science behind financial planning should include applying economic principles in an unbiased and verifiable manner. Remember, most financial planning operates using a linear approach, but life doesn’t unfold that way. You may have to address many financial concerns all at once. Many baby boomers are dealing with educating their children, entering into retirement and taking care of their parents all at once. This is where linear planning can be problematic. When an adviser uses an artistic approach to solving problems, multiple issues can be solved at once. You feel more confident, secure and knowledgeable about your financial life.

Ask a Leap Professional about how they can make financial planning sane, sound and simple by applying art and science.

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