You could check 168 boxes, or you could just tell me about your life

Why you need a Life Plan more than a Financial Plan

Those of you who know me know that I am pretty new to the finance industry. Two years… may not seem “new” but trust me, my eyes are often opened to this industry and the ways in which it works. Let's just say there is a lot of “it’s always been this way”, and even more, “you have to do this not because it makes sense, but rather to cover your a$$”, and let me just add that fashion has not migrated beyond khakis & blue button downs. The conferences are reminiscent of Eminem’s Slim Shady performance at the VMAs circa 2000 when he had thousands (er maybe hundreds?) of himself walk into the auditorium. Finance? The same vibe ~ sub jeans, white T-shirt, bleach blond crew-cut with khakis, blue button down, & a dad cut. Will the real financial advisor please stand up?

In finance, the turning of a year also means updating all of our compliance documents, and books & records, ensuring our i’s are dotted & t’s are crossed. This year I received word that I needed updated suitability forms on file for our clients. Fair enough, it's our job to make sure we have the right investors with risk tolerances that allow for our investments, in our models. And without question, I want to comply with our regulators' stipulations, they are obviously there for a reason and I’m sure there are some shady cats that prowl the finance industry. So I’m (not in khaki pants & a blue button down) reviewing this form and it occurs to me that this is just one big, HUGE, box-checking exercise. 168 to be exact. And I would know because I had to add the digital checkboxes to the form in DocuSign.

1 form, 168 boxes available to be checked. But where in this form do we uncover how our client feels about money? What are their fears? What are their beliefs? What are they excited about? What do they care about? What does their future hold? Where do they plan to spend their time and where do they want to spend their money? Are those more important suitability questions than their level of experience with annuities? Sure more subjective, and more complicated to regulate, but perhaps more appropriate? Aren’t our clients' humans not box-checking machines? What if one client interprets “aggressive” differently than the next? Will they be sent down a completely different investment path that may or may not be right for them just because the word “aggressive” is scary as hell to some and completely appropriate to others?

So I propose the following, in my black jeans, sweater & leopard print jacket (it's -7 outside today), and take this for what you will because I’m clearly NOT the real slim shady of finance. Let's start with a Life Plan. Let's cover all the important categories that deeply inspire & motivate you as a human: Love, Health, Work, Play (thank you for that Bill Burnett & Dave Evans - I love your work). And let's not bring up the idea of money, yet. Let's develop a road map for the desires that burn deep in your soul. Desires you may not even know you have. Desires that will bring you joy, peace, and fulfillment in life. Let’s chart this beautifully in a way that you can get excited, you can view it regularly, and remind yourself why your alarm goes off at 4:50am, and the things you want to show your kids about the world, the skills you want to gain, and the carrots that dangle in front of you rewarding you for all of your energy expenditures every waking day. And then, let's take that beautiful sketch that is the life you want to live, your Life Plan, and let's utilize our financial expertise and all the resources that exist in this business, and turn that Life Plan into a Financial Plan that supports it. Call me crazy, but that seems like a much more enjoyable & approachable process for clients who may identify as humans.

Am I crazy? Or onto something? If this sounds appealing can I get a 🤟 ? And if you gave me a 🤟, would you be willing to share your thoughts? Send me a note: [email protected]. Or place your vote below!

Much love & if we all have to dress alike, may the new finance uniform involve leopard print, please?




Advisory services are offered through Grinnell Capital, LLC, a Utah Investment Advisor.

This information is a general publication that reflects our opinion and is not a specific recommendation to any one individual. You must consult your own broker or investment adviser for investment advice.

This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained herein should not be construed as the provision of personalized advice and is subject to change without notice. This material should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any asset or engage in a particular investment strategy. Investing in securities involves the risk of loss, including loss of principal invested, and may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This newsletter contains certain forward-looking statements which indicate future possibilities. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations portrayed in such forward-looking statements. As such, there is no guarantee that any views and opinions expressed in this newsletter will come to pass. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change without prior notice. Additionally, this newsletter contains information derived from third-party sources. Although we believe these sources to be reliable, we make no representations as to the accuracy of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party incorporated herein and take no responsibility, therefore. This newsletter is provided with the understanding that Grinnell Capital, LLC is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or tax services and we recommend that client seek out the services of professionals in these aforementioned areas.

Have questions? Either respond to this email or contact: [email protected]