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Do you want an adviser, or a guide?

Is there really a difference between a guide and an adviser? Between advice and guidance? I believe there is. A guide shows you the route and path to where YOU want to go. They point out the interesting things you would probably have not noticed without them.

I think many confuse the difference between the two roles and default into using an adviser solely to tell them what to do. And that advice is more easily ignored and nothing is done about it as a result … you can ignore them and that advice. A guide keeps that monkey of responsibility on your back. You see it is harder to ignore suggestions and guidance when you retain ownership of what the guide has been hired to provide you. They explain the steps you need to take to actually get to where you’re trying to go … to reach your goal.

Talking and doing are two different things!

Life is an odyssey for everyone … defined as (and hence the name of my book Wealth Odyssey):

:  a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune

: a series of experiences that give knowledge or understanding to someone.

Journeys take you from where you are now to where you’re trying to get to.

You should take a short period of time to focus on other important things that are not day to day – like when you take a short trip or vacation. Then you make key decisions and set up what needs to be done automatically so you don’t need to keep returning to the decision, or have to keep on taking time, to take the actions again and again. A periodic review every couple of years simply keeps prior decisions up to date with the changes that may have occurred in your life (remember definition of odyssey above – many changes occur in life).

This is not a product focus – it is a you focus. Where do you want your bridge to take you on your journey to where you’re going? Where is that destination or goal? Everyone wants to concentrate on the cable (products) … but, cables aren’t put in place until AFTER the bridge has been designed to take you, from where you now, are to where you’re trying to get to (other side leads to your destination’s goal). In other words, the cables hold up the bridge. But the bridge goes from here to there – both locations defined, not by the cables but, by the reason or purpose for the bridge. In other words, the bridge comes first – then the cables are put in place.

When you talk to some advisers, your narrative seeking behavior wants to hear a familiar story that you think you agree with. Often narratives are appealing but false and so often repeated that one assumes them to be true (e.g., active managers can consistently over long periods of times beat the markets; or the economy and markets are predictable). A guide may point out other things you haven’t heard of or thought of before. A guide brings in the narrative you haven’t seen or considered before – and wouldn’t have seen without them pointing it out specifically so you’d notice.

Moral of the story: Seek a guide for your financial affairs that can help you navigate your financial life. Guides are familiar with the terrain. Guides can point out things you may have missed otherwise. Guides may get you to where you are trying to go. It is your journey – not theirs – however, they may make your journey more fulfilling.

The use of a guide could make your financial journey, your Wealth Odyssey, more enlightening and more enjoyable.

Photo: By Mark Chandler10smark (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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Comment   |  4 years, 10 months ago from Roseville, CA