It wasn’t long ago that people went through their career in one profession. Now we live in an interesting time where we have the ability and freedom to change careers and move into the next chapter. The result is professionals with unique qualifications. One chapter informs the next and makes us more well-rounded.
Working as a psychologist my job involved facilitating communication among family members and school personnel. The people I worked with often viewed situations in different ways. It was critical for me to hear and understand the various viewpoints on the table as well as work through these differences to solutions that could be accepted by all the relevant parties.
If I was working with a parent and a child, it was important to craft a solution to their problem that could be understood and accepted by both parties. When both the parent and their child felt their views had been valued and heard, the chances for a successful compromise were dramatically increased.
Psychology’s Role in Financial Planning
An effective financial planner’s job is not much different from that of a psychologist. Just as in a counseling environment, all parties engaged in financial planning need to be heard. What seems apparent on the surface among husbands and wives during the initial steps of the financial planning process often masks underlying feelings that need to be coaxed out. A plan that does not address the needs, goals, and objectives of all participants will almost always fail. This means the plan often requires compromise to make sure each participant feels he or she has “skin in the game.” The ultimate product considers each person’s feelings and viewpoints.
How The Relationship in Psychology Differs From Financial Planning
As a psychologist, my interactions were often situational and short-term, unlike the financial planning relationship. The financial planning relationship adapts to changes in the economy, investment environment, and the client(s) goals and objectives over time. This requires open, honest, and ongoing communication over the years, so the plan continues to address the issues that are most important to the client(s), and keeps them on a path to achieving their goals, objectives, and dreams.
At Sampson Investment Management, communication and getting to know our clients in a deep and personal way is a critical component of our value proposition. Just as a psychologist could not do his/her job without taking the time to know the client, this is also necessary to best serve the client in a financial planning relationship. We are confident when we take the time to really get to know the client and his/her unique goals and objectives, we will have a much better chance achieving the success in retirement that our clients desire.