Monday, December 19, 2016

Personal Financial Planning: Managing Goals or Managing Money?

((sent to Investment News - of course, no response - oh their revelation question (no, there is gambling at Rick's Cafe??) is personal financial planning about managing money (now that the compensation from assets under management is being compressed by robo advisers?))).....

Personal Financial Planning is about managing goals NOT managing assets. Period.

Otherwise personal financial planning is merely a Trojan Horse for being an unnamed Asset Manager. Furthermore, with the emphasis on managing assets not goals being  1) if that is how one is compensation (managing assets aum) then as Maslow stated 'if all you know is a hammer everything looks like a nail' 2) the personal financial goals and their alignment to life mission/significance becomes a second rate citizen relative to attention of the asset manager masquerading as a personal financial planner.

Personal financial planning was born as a marketing ruse for the sale of product. The movement to AUM - worse  if managing asset selection directly - is just a another pretense and disguise. It's wrong headed enough (in my opinion) that asset under management compensation is inherently conflicted with managing goals - making other than asset accumulation goals (for which 'the planner' is compensated) the orphan second class citizen child. Add picking stocks and bonds - that doubles down the focus on the asset accumulation area - at the expense of other goals and led the conflict of so called planners telling clients to mortgage up to their ying yang - so there could be more monies to manage. (Real smart - playing hedge fund with the client's shelter ??)

There are always conflicts which gets to the question of full NOT fool disclosure - yet picking stocks and being compensated on this basis is in my opinion - mutually exclusive with the personal financial planning process as it is held out to be.

Final note there is a huge difference between process consulting (which is what personal financial planning is supposed to be and is held out to be) and resource consulting (an expertise on a subject or area - i.e. a product etc.). It is difficult enough to do process consulting let alone at the same time be the resource consultant on which one, what kind of particular this or that.

The great Rabbi Hillel was asked to explain Judaism while standing on 1 foot. He replied don't do unto others that which is unpleasant to you.... The rest is commentary, go study.'

Personal financial planning is managing goals (for prioritized alignment and realization relative one's values). The rest is commentary or just an imposter rationalization for resource consulting for asset management.

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