Communication is a foundational building block for any relationship. And communication in a financial planning relationship is critical for an effective plan to be created.

However, it’s normal to feel anxiety about talking to a financial planner. USA Today reports that many Americans feel embarrassed about sharing their personal information, and are fearful of being evaluated by a professional.

I like to use an analogy between financial planning and putting together a jigsaw puzzle when I’m talking to people.

“What’s the most important piece of the puzzle?” I ask my clients. “Most people say it’s the corners, while some folks describe finding solid-colored or obvious picture pieces first.”

Here’s my response: “The most important part of a jigsaw puzzle is the picture on the front of the box. Without a complete picture, you have no idea where the pieces go. I tell clients the reason I ask so many questions about their financial life is so I can create a complete picture, and we can solve the puzzle together.”
Then I go on to say, “Who else knows all this? Who else have you shared your asset information, goals, dreams, and fears with?’ If the answer is nobody, then I tell them that no one can do a good job planning for you.”

At Gaynes Financial Services, we take the time to discover what the picture on the front of your box looks like.

Complete, honest disclosure is key to effective investment and retirement planning. Don’t be afraid to tell your financial advisor everything, and don’t be ashamed if your financial situation is less-than rosy. A planner’s job is to help you create your very own picture on the front of the puzzle box so all your financial pieces fit in place.

Getting detailed answers out of clients is hard work. Ask a trusted peer to review your discovery questions and make suggestions about your processes. Be careful not to pass judgement on situations that are disclosed. Without a complete picture, you can’t solve the puzzle.

Tracking # 1-251814