Financial Planning adds Tangible Value, but that’s not the most important part…Part Two

Aug 12, 2018 | Blog, Financial Planning

“Here is natural instinct and here is control.

You are to combine the two in harmony, now if you have one to the extreme, you will be very unscientific.

If you have another to the extreme, you will all of a sudden be a mechanical man, no longer a human being.

It is a successful combination of both.

Therefore, it is not naturalness or unnaturalness. The ideal is unnatural, naturalness or natural, unnaturalness.”

– Bruce Lee, The Lost Interview

…A continuation from last week

How does MARGIN curate specific and personalized tangible and intangible value far greater than our fee for a select group of families?

Tangible Value (control)

(1) A Curation of Value Checklist and Weekly Intellectual Sparring.

At MARGIN, we constantly curate an internal 200-point checklist.
Each item details SPECIFIC and personalized areas designed to increase value and avoid mistakes for our clients within main financial planning categories (i.e., taxes, investments, retirement planning, etc.).

Afterword, we provide detailed, custom written recommendations in each financial trade-off to note (i.e., mortgage paydown versus investing), and a corresponding implementation timeline of each major decision, risk, or driver of value.

“Comprehensive” planning is a bastardized and nebulous marketing term.

We prefer rigorous.

Our checklist is updated from financial journals, books, blogs, forums, newsletters, podcasts, credentialing (i.e. CFA, CFP, CPA) knowledge, and peer conversations.

The evolution and refinement of the list is crowdsourced with other financial planners.

Each week, I seek out other unique financial planners throughout the country for weekly intellectual sparring sessions.

There’s no sense in showcasing a decorated credential trophy case from yesterday, if I’m not in shape enough to jump in the ring today

(2) Service = embracing limits

Everybody says: “We have good service.”

Blah. Blah. Blah. Is the response when you ask how.

No, Really.

How do you create it?

Clients first. Money second.

MARGIN can hold 50 to 70 clients maximum depending on the overall firm complexity loads.

We aren’t trying to build a 1% asset-fee based Capital Grill fiefdom.



Another scale-or-bust financial chop shop: cut open a bag; dump your “food” on a plate; pop it in the microwave; here you go financial “planning.”

Like TGI Fidelitys, oh sorry, I meant TGI Fridays.
Or Charles Cheesy, oh sorry, I meant Chuckie Cheese.

We’re highly selective of who we work with, just like you.

EVERY relationship we say yes to is another we say NO to.

There’s only a certain number of white tablecloths at MARGIN.

As we get busier in the kitchen, we create waitlists for onboarding new clients depending on client complexity, and our operating capacity.

We aren’t for everyone.
We limit tables.
You should too.

(3) Accountability – The Time Value of Financial Advice

We must do the difficult and confront uncomfortable pain today, so life is easier tomorrow.

If not, inertia will drown us in the sea of life.

Great advice is perishable.
Its value decays over time.
How much would you pay to know what you know today in your 10-year younger self?

Actions compound over time like money.

Without taking action, you can’t compound results.

Copious amounts of “valuable” information are available on any illuminating screen with wifi.

More information does not always equal better results.

It usually paralyzes.
Analyzing, planning, and deciding is NOT action.

Action is action.

Accountability works: Alcoholics Anonymous; Weight Watchers; “mastermind” groups.
Success is woven through action and accountability.
The ability to account for your actions.

We have a new tax plan.

Have you acted on this?

There are so many stories of value that dried up and died on the cutting board before we could cook it up with a client.


More often than not, great advice rots in the fridge before it can ever provide any nourishment.


Information is not doing.
Doing is doing.
It takes courage to change inertia.

Coming up next week…We optimize and focus on the wrong variables too much in our business…

How much does it really COST you when you don’t pursue a life true to yourself?

Your life.

Real courage is not control.

It’s faith.

Time > Money.

The intangibles (natural instincts) are next week.


Newsletter Signup

Recent Posts