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Financial Resolutions

Help Clients Make Financial Resolutions A Reality

We’re in the season of resolutions. Everyone is making their goals for the year and looking to adopt habits that will help them reach those goals.

While not as common as self-improvement goals, financial resolutions are important and can also be difficult to keep.

As a financial advisor you’re in a position to help clients and prospects define their resolutions and provide them with the tools to see them through successfully.

When discussing reasonable financial goals with clients, there are a few things you can tell them to set realistic and productive resolutions.

The great thing about making financial resolutions is that the process lines up with what most of us do with our clients already. Use the new year to check in with clients and get them focused on their finances.

 

Setting Financial Resolutions—and Sticking with Them

 

1. Assess Current Situation

In order to determine your path to your end point you must know where to start.

Clients should know how much they owe on credit cards and loans, as well as how much they are paying in interest. They should then compare those amounts to how much they make and save.

When they know what they’re working with they will be able to clearly (and realistically) set their goals.

 

2. Honestly Look At Spending Habits

Remind clients there’s no reason to set drastic lifestyle changes they can’t maintain.

If they know they want to take that big trip to Tokyo this year, they should account for the trip expense when thinking about a savings plan.

When we set unrealistic goals we can frustrate ourselves and give up before we get started. If their resolution requires sacrifices, they should honestly consider what their priorities are.

 

3. Plan Investments Per Goal

Show clients the differences between different short and long-term goals.

For example if they have a (short-term) goal to be funded in the next 5 years, it’s safer to keep money in a bank account or money market fund. They can keep the longer-term goals for investing.

Setting and reaching resolutions will require a flexible and varied approach.

 

4. Automate Savings

This is probably the most important step.

It doesn’t matter if they have the perfect plan, the perfect accounts, or perfect investments. Financial uncertainty lies ahead if there are no savings.

Remind clients that with automated savings they are making a safety net the priority. Savings should not be what is left at the end of the month.

These 4 steps are the backbone of good financial resolutions. Here are some helpful tips to follow up with clients and keep them on track.

  • Set incentives and consequences for meeting or breaking goals.
  • Skip the pity parties. Whenever you fall short it’s easy to sink into wallow mode. Remind clients to set their emotions aside and remain logical in their approach to successful finances.
  • Be flexible! An all-or-nothing approach is dangerous and often leads to failure. Let clients know that learning from shortcomings will allow them to be successful.
  • Give reminders of why you’re working towards each financial goal. Small reminders will help keep you on track.

Ultimately the clients will be the main driving force behind their financial resolutions. Remind them that they can change their fiscal direction and achieve resolutions, but only when they’re serious about it.

Have your clients made any financial resolutions? Leave a comment and let us know what their goals are and what tips you have given them.

 

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Help Clients Make Financial Resolutions A Reality
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Help your clients set and stick with their financial resolutions in 2018 with some of our best tips!
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