As a practising Financial Planner, I have built hundreds of financial plans for real families. I’m well aware that these are estimates about people’s futures. We all know that “Man plans, and God laughs.”

Planning for the Unknowns

Within these plans, we include all the known knowns, but the “unknowns” are missing. The “unknowns”, by their very nature, cannot be planned for—or can they?

Having seen people’s lives unfold and personally witnessed their investment and life journeys, I’ve concluded that curtailing people’s investment returns because, according to the plan, their money is getting them over the financial finish line is madness. The ‘stock market’ is human ingenuity captured. Human ingenuity (capitalism) is a powerful force and a lucrative one at that.

Knowing that unknown financial shocks hit people out of the blue, I’ve no problem creating wealth for its own sake. We don’t know what financial shocks people (and their families or friends) may face in the future. For instance, one of the biggest ‘unknowns’ I’ve seen is parents supporting adult children in divorce; this ‘trend’ is not going anywhere. Another example is unexpected health issues that require more money than the plan predicted.

Planning for the Unknowns

 

While traditional financial plans aim to meet specific goals, it’s crucial for our clients to understand that events may occur that are beyond their specified goals, and creating additional wealth will only provide them with more freedom and opportunities should the need arise. This will provide security and confidence in the face of the unknown.

It’s essential for us as Financial Planners to educate our clients about the potential challenges they may encounter. By discussing scenarios that we’ve seen other clients encounter, we can help clients develop a more realistic understanding of their financial future. This awareness can motivate our clients to prioritise wealth creation and make proactive choices to prepare in advance, knowing that they have a trusted guide to navigate these challenges with them.

Planning for the Unknowns

At Client Care, our mandate extends beyond mere wealth accumulation; it encompasses cultivating financial preparedness for the unknown, ensuring that our clients are equipped to weather life’s unpredictable storms.

The “unknowns” may never be fully accounted for. Still, by taking a proactive and adaptable approach, we can empower our clients to face whatever challenges come their way, instilling a sense of control and empowerment in their financial journey.

Dirk Groeneveld, Certified Financial Plannert. 

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