I’ve spoken about inertia before in the financial planning context and how important it is to explore possibilities rather than just accept the ‘hand that life has dealt you’. It’s fascinating how so many people don’t do anything about it. Don’t try and change things for the better. Don’t plan ahead. A plan, to most, only stretches as far as their next holiday!
Of course, depending upon our own individual circumstances, there are a whole raft of reasons as to why people don’t take more control and plan. One of the main reasons is not knowing who to turn to, who to trust. I call this the ‘trust gap’.
Most of us have had bad financial experiences at some point in the past; an endowment that hasn’t met anywhere near its target, a pension plan with massive transfer penalties, or a stock market crash that wiped away much of your hard-earned money. Add to these the mis-selling scandals, frequent changes in regulation and negative news-flow. You name it, they are all barriers to entrusting someone with your money.
As a result, the vast majority take their cue and guidance from friends and family, work colleagues, the media and increasingly, the internet. The problem here of course, is how can others tell you what you should be doing when they don’t know your complete circumstances, your hopes and aspirations, along with your whole raft of anxieties?
Even when clients come to see us, it’s not always a given that this trust gap is bridged. When we recently encouraged long-standing clients to model the possibilities and step away from their traditional approach to managing money, we had to rebuild some of the trust that had been engendered previously. They just couldn’t believe what we were telling them was possible. They thought we had got our figures wrong. After a painstaking exercise of running through the figures and then demonstrating their exciting options, the trust gap has been firmly bridged again because they are now implementing some of their own aspirations, which they had never thought possible.
If you have a trust gap, don’t let this be an excuse for inertia. Go and find yourself a financial planner who is willing to act as a mentor and a conduit for exploring exciting possibilities. Get yourself the right planner and you won’t look back.