Personal Financial Trainer

A recent article on financial independence has brought forth some interesting comments.  This one from Yaman Saleh adds a good deal to the discussion.  BTW, Yaman has deep insight into wealth and its accumulation.  You could check out his blog The Wealth Maker, it is worth your trouble.

Thinking takes brain power. Making a decision and actually implementing it takes courage, a kind of emotional power/intelligence.

Fitness and finance have a lot in common. I was discussing this aspect with one of our members, { Trader Group on Linked In}  few days ago. We came to the conclusion that a financial advisor/planner is not that far different from a personal trainer. Here we’re talking about non-technical qualities, or matters that are not specific to the trade. It all boils down to being able to communicate effectively, understand your client’s needs and ambitions, then use your knowledge, expertise and character to create/tailor a solution that would bring financial or physical wealth to that client, both on the short- and long-terms.

There is more than a little similarity.  As the coaching industry is proving, everyone can benefit from communication, special  skills and experience.  The trainer has purpose:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Understand needs and ambitions
  • Use specific skills and experience
  • Create a workable solution

The personal trainer is the conscience, the person who measures, the gatherer of new information and technique, the one who can help the client understand how they fit compared to others in similar circumstances, and the one who keeps things in focus and related tightly to objective reality.

Hockey coach, Roger Neilson once told me that his principle role was to prevent players from keeping their crutches.  Their excuses.  Their delusions even.

The role of financial advisor is similar.  Sometimes the clients need leadership.  Sometimes comfort. Sometimes discipline.  Always objectivity.

The non-technical things are actually the more valuable for many clients.  They are also the things that clients have trouble providing for themselves.

It is an unusual relationship.


Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario.

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