My Review of “Life Centered Financial Planning”, by Mitch Anthony and Paul Armson

Life Centered Planning by Mitch & Paul

Life-Centered (Centred – if UK) Financial Planning (LCFP). This is a great book for all non-intermediating financial planners. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I could not put it down until I had read it from cover to cover. I would highly recommend it as essential reading for any financial planner looking to be resilient and future ready.

Money-centred financial planning value propositions are unsustainable and eroding in value, due to technology and algorithms being widely available for little or no cost. The cult programming of a product sales mentality is declining. So too has prognosticating and soothsaying. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Reward mechanisms have distorted consumer outcomes, no doubt.

We should all de-commoditise our value propositions. Advisers must human up to survive in this digital age.

Advisers must understand their clients to make suitable recommendations

Advisers should be biographers. Echoes here of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: Act 1 Where they’ve been, Act 2 where they are at, Act 3 where they are going. Understanding backstory and history, making forward planning meetings, and creating a client’s personal timeline of life transitions.

The greatest skills of an adviser are humility and gratitude.

NIFPs and LCFPs agree. There does not need to be discussion about specific investments or products in a commoditised market. When a NIFP creates a client asset (not under adviser management) through a plan then no funds or products need to be sold. NIFPs go a step further than LCFPs.

NIFPs produce a financial plan to create wealth. The business plan of you. Extremely helpful for those 95% of prospects falling under the net worth threshold. We overcome the “can’t afford the fee” argument with masterclasses and subscriptions.

Wealth management is for the wealthy, with those asset minimums and net worth thresholds (spending, saving, protecting, investing, giving).

Products manage wealth of the wealthy, plans create wealth.

NIFPs do not need to dismiss client assets not under management as irrelevant. The business. The inheritance. We treat an asset as an asset. LCFPs dismiss these assets in the cash flow forecast.

NIFPs would add Wisdom (education/ literacy) and Legacy (inheritance/ succession) either side of the Security and Freedom objectives. As wealth grows. Suffering to Wisdom. Wisdom to Security. Security to Freedom. Freedom to Legacy.

NIFPs would add “service to others” to areas of life to be considered. Everything else under The GAME Plan compass appears under ROL. On the basis that NIFPs are purpose coaches and “our purpose” is to use our gifts in the service of others. We often spend too long in life as the perpetual pupil and forget to be the teacher.

An NIFP would add “making the world a better place” to desired lifestyle. That is, add self-transcendence to self-actualisation (in the words of Abraham Maslow). Otherwise, life-centred seems self-centred.

Where NIFPs differ from LCFPs most is the order of planning. NIFPs consider where the client would “like to be”, with more emphasis, and before they consider “where they are”. Goals are considered before life transitions.

If we start “where they are at”, we may misjudge where they “want to be”. We risk dismissing the goal, as an unrealistic expectation (too big a step in the short term). We say it is not realistic. Or achievable. We risk excluding it from our planning too early in the process. This is what NIFPs call the exhaustive cycle. Outcomes diminish as the client “gets the best life possible from the money they have”, rather than opening the box of boundless possibilities and considering the money the client could have or create. Wealth creation planning. Productive cycle.

Transitions are often obstacles, and we need the inspiring goals to overcome them. For example, caring for an elderly parent (transition) can often be an obstacle to a strong desire to travel (goal). Dare to dream and create the vision. Then produce the project plan whilst we are inspired. While our light/ lamp/ torch is lit. Open the box of possibilities.

In short. The LCFP excludes important wealth creation planning (to bridge the gap) from the value proposition (i.e., a business plan for that dismissed business asset).

The LCFP seems to be fee-only. Rather than asset based. But then there were some references to do this LCFP and, “they will trust you with all their money”. Or “The assets will come”. This is not an objective for a NIFP.

Things to say you do at a cocktail party to avoid embarrassment, I think NIFP works for me more than LCFP. Though I don’t get invited to many parties to put my theory to the test, especially nowadays. Maybe less so after LCFPs read my review. And then there’s living in Spilsby.

Bringing together NIFP and LCFP.

Get the best life possible and leave the world a better place with the money they have and can create.


If you want to become a non-intermediating financial planner contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you.
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