Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Future of Personal Financial Planning: Personal Financial ‘Life’ Planning

The Future of Personal Financial Planning:
Personal Financial ‘Life’ Planning

(Planning The Strategic Plan of NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisers (1) (from Jim Schwartz, Co Founder NAPFA who resigned years ago) )– Part I

An Open Letter To NAPFA ‘Planning Committee’ (Which Should Not Have Wirehouse, Bureaucrats as members – and does)

The old shall dreams and the youth shall see visions
Book of Joel


It has come to my attention from a few of you, given that unlike most planners, my practice was almost 50% strategic planning (managing by objectives tied to compensation) and recognized by George Odiorne (one of the fathers of planning) for the application of MBO to personal financial planning, that despite my resignation from NAPFA (you still owe me an apology on the College for their Own Financial Planning’s(2), I actually have done both sides of planning - personal financial 'life' planning and corporate planning.

1) It ain't rocket science but mission statements (what can be) are often confused with vision statements (what should be) and devolve to motherhood statements and worthless bromides
2) missions and visions need to be defined not only for what it is (who, what, when, how, why) but what it is not (which is even more critical). Without the 'is not' all you get is 'snot' and a large bill from corporate planners who take off your watch tell you what time it is and send a big bill and maybe good lunch and a lot of flattery.
3) planning is done by the business not for it - or it fails.
4) (the plan) must be tied into compensation - short, long, intermediate - or it will be just another pretty plan up on the shelf that everyone can point to and forget.

5) Lastly, the bureaucracy IS NOT involved in the mission, vision, nor ground rules. They are administrators not policy makers and managers. “Sorry, if I stepped on someone's damn TURF” to paraphrase TNA Tag Team Wrestling Champs ‘Beer Money.’

NAPFA (created by the Society of Independent Financial Advisors – least there be revisionist history) originated as a professional organization with the ability for disintermediation (getting product sponsors to create products without commissions –increasing potential performance for clients). NAPFA has lost its differentiation - especially if there is victory now on the fiduciary standard for financial advisors. It has become a trade organization – marketing members’ services - masquerading as a professional organization.

Philosophy Guirjeff theorized (his Law of Seven) that that which we intend becomea the exact opposite in time. And so, has NAPFA in my opinion.

And the real real real question facing today’s boomers (all 60 million+ of them), in particular, - however presented "make a difference, what next, etc.' is Meaning. The question is enabling finding meaning IN one's life not the meaning of life or More, More, More (reinforced by assets under management compensation rather managing goals). And lanners have to do this for themselves first - or as Gandhi said 'be your message' or Franklin said, 'better done than said.'
One of my favorite questions for potential clients to ask a planner is ‘do you have a personal financial plan yourself you can share? Do you do business planning for your company? May I see a copy? (My guess is out of 100 – less than 5 – the ship’s captain lecturing on navigation as the ship sinks???)
So as one who retired at 46 (now 61) am I eating my own chili?

My missions: - 1) perPETuation(c) (no dog before his time, extending the quality of K9 life - save a life and you save the world - Talmud - 1 dog at a time -Schwartz) see my book Trust Me; I'm Not A Veterinarian (no you are not getting the whole mission or vision and the is nots –given the plagiarism I’ve experiences in the past by NAPFA members who weren’t even rebuked) and
2) reJEWvination(c) Jews of Meaning ( finding meaning IN one's
life through Judaism
3) ENOUGH(sm) - healing financial anxiety, puttin' money in its place to transcend to significance (c) can't wait to see who else rips me off without attribution (which is okay but they usually get it wrong) see my blog which updates the enough book

Of course, a certain chairperson (who forgets who gave her the push originally in NAPFA leadership) can dismiss this all - first ignore (which she has), then ridicule, and finally adopt. Someone once said there is an inverse relationship between competency and elevation to leadership posts in trade/professional organizations. I have watched over and over and over again, the ascension of so called planners who use NAPFA for practice development and self congratulatory photo ops of themselves

This planner did what he preached - how many planners can say that let alone that they aligned personal financial resources and life goals for themselves?
It is time for reinventing NAPFA from scratch. PART II next week

(1) The College for its Own Financial Planning (subsequently sold to a profit making organization) not only trained planners in incorrect math methodology for retirement (30,000 planners times on average say 50 clients – you do the math) stonewalling to prevent product liability, but also allegedly created structural barriers to trade (anti-trust activity) using tax exempt status at the time. NAPFA and its weenie leadership was silent rather than professional. I was vindicated by Forbes, Barons, Worth etc and some of the most important mathematicians in the country. And NAPFA and its leadership dwaddled, dithered – and even used their newsletter to deflect calling me a terrorist while it’s chairman sat on the then College controlled Certified Financial Planning Board.
(2) NAPFA has allowed plagiarism without recourse. I don’t mind my work being referenced. Worse some have used my work – and still get it wrong.

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