By: Ellis Miller, JD
As my role at Pleasant Wealth becomes more advisory, my experience and vantage point allow me to form opinions about our firm – to see how we differ and what we do better than others.
For example, all too often a grieving widow is sent to some big firm where she meets a sharp advisor. She is told that they are “sorry for her loss” and then is regaled with the glories of where the sharp advisor used to work and what they can do for her.
Of course, this is most impressive. But it’s not what that widow needs. She is still reeling. She is bereft. Everything is just a blur. Emotions are swinging wildly. She doesn’t need some proud firm with a spreadsheet making recommendations. She needs something (and someone) so different. Someone to accompany her on this bewildering pathway.
And Pleasant Wealth is that difference. Although clients could probably manage a few retirement jitters on their own, they often encounter some harder things, like investing or taxes, or fear of running out of money. Or even something traumatic and debilitating, as with the widow above, in losing a precious loved one.
For the personal financial care that is needed in such cases, we often take four weeks with a client to do Life Coaching and Financial Planning. It is an ongoing, pleasant financial conversation that sits on a solid psychological and financial bedrock.
To understand this more, I recently observed as one of our advisors worked with a new client. At first, our information was new to the client, and she seemed a little unsure.
And then suddenly the trajectory changed. The client enthusiastically started providing insight into her own life, responding to the advisor’s leading questions and positive energy. At times it felt like it was a counseling session with the advisor being a trusted confidante. At other times they worked together as allies on a financial issue to be solved.
At one point the client said, “It would be fun to just feel free, to have joy, to laugh! It would be fun to spend money; in fact, now all I want to do is spend money!”
And the truth? Once the client began driving the conversation, it became transformative. She experienced an epiphany, seeing life and finances in a whole new light. The coaching and planning process had sparked new life!
Such clients often remark spontaneously, “This is the best money I have ever spent!” And, indeed, they are right. Transformation is worth a lot.
Although Pleasant Wealth cannot produce an “epiphany a day,” we are quite good at it and achieve it fairly often, perhaps better than anybody else. It’s where we do our best work. We want more clients to experience it, and we know it can be the best money they ever spend.
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