October 2018 Update
For many of our clients, one of the most frustrating moments of working with expert advisors is when you have this realization:
There is rarely one “right” answer.
Even when you process this initial realization, and think to yourself, “Sure, everyone is different,” you have an additional realization:
There may not be one “right” answer for you.
The reason expert advisors still have jobs after the first time they give you an answer, the reason they continue to study after they get their first degree, and the reason you may have more inherent faith in the advisor who has circled the block several thousand times is that “the facts” and “the answers” are always in flux.
It would, indeed, be so much easier if there was a clear question with a single, correct answer. But you are always changing, growing, and adapting. The world around you is always changing, growing, and adapting. You and the world are often changing, growing, and adapting on differing schedules.
As many business owners experienced in 2017/2018, what we understood as “the rules” in Canadian tax planning changed rapidly – after a 30 year period of relative constancy. As many dual Canadian/US citizens experienced in that same time period – especially those with businesses outside of the US – cross-border tax planning changed almost overnight. Real estate rules changed in many provinces, as did governments, and so much more. The changes continue to impact us daily.
At the same time, you changed. You decided to have more children, or didn’t. You changed careers or transitioned your business. You experienced love, death, joy, loss, and learned so much about yourself and those around you. Each day of each year, you become the greatest possible expert in you.
Your expert advisors, regardless of their field, are doing the same work, personally and professionally, that you do each day. It would be easier – but so much less interesting – if they could have a static answer for you, and you never had to see them, ever again. But the world is not set up that way. You are not a fixed, static person, and the world is not a fixed, static place. The things you need to know to make it through life change from year to year.
That’s why at Spring, we don’t believe your financial plan will stay one way forever. The questions you are asking are not engineering problems, with a specific, correct answer. They are designing problems, with endless potential answers.
Your financial plan is more than a strategic plan. It is a set of guiding principles and specific education, based on your values, your life, and your goals, which will help you make great decisions through inevitable change. As those changes occur, that set of principles may need a tweak from time to time, or a complete refresh. You may need further education on a new area that becomes important. All strategic plans are subject to modification, and that’s just one of the reasons we’re committed to communication for a year after you receive your plan, and regular check-ins annually until you tell us to go away. We’re also genuinely interested in you – we’re lucky enough to be able to choose to work with people we like – and are curious about how you’re doing. Truly.
We have a culture of learning and personal development that is designed to help our planners learn and grow at as fast a pace as makes sense, so that we can be here for you as the changes arrive. That’s why Free Fridays, regular education, and internal meetings are part of the way we operate. That’s why we write articles, curate articles, and write book reviews. It’s all part of learning and sharing that learning, so you can make great decisions that will help you achieve your very own version of success.
This month, Sandi is sharing the knowledge she gained in her Top Reads, Kathryn is sharing what she learned from the book Mindset: The new Psychology, and Julia helps you talk to your parents about their money.
We hope you enjoy learning along with us!
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