Financial ‘Adjustments’

Paul Philip, CFP, CLU, Nancy Philip, CFP , CLU
April 30, 2009
Written by Paul Philip, CFP, CLU, Nancy Philip, CFP , CLU
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The global economy in 2008 was brutal and, so far, 2009 has not been much better. There is, however, an upside to the economic events we have seen and/or experienced. Now, more than ever, chiropractors realize it is time to take personal responsibility for their financial futures, and are seeking information on the best way to do it. Often the first question on the DC’s mind is “Where do I start”? Successful financial planning is similar to chiropractic care. It involves a process of working with an expert who utilizes a holistic approach. The following is a high-level view on how to get started, and some important points to consider.

MACRO- VERSUS MICROMANAGING
Most chiropractors have aligned themselves with various micromanagers to assist with their financial decisions. These managers are specialists in their particular area of expertise. The question is; “When was the last time you had all your financial micromanagers in the same room to discuss what is best for you and your family? The answer for most is “probably never.” But, wouldn’t it make sense to have all your financial activities co-ordinated? Absolutely.

To ensure success it’s important to have both micromanagers and a macromanager in place. A macromanager designs the overall strategic plan, and makes sure each financial micromanager executes their part of the strategy. The presence of a macromanager often enables the micromanagers to better perform their services. Think of it as being similar to building a house. You would first go to an architect to design your home according to your needs and taste. Once the overall design is agreed upon, the tradespeople are brought in to complete each task required. Successful financial planning requires a macro financial architect to oversee the “big picture.”

FINANCIAL JUNK DRAWER
Depending on what stage of life you are at, you probably have already made many financial decisions and purchased various financial products. Commonly, chiropractors, left on their own, end up with a “financial junk drawer.” And, just as in a junk drawer at home, you can lose track of what’s inside. As a result, financial decisions and products may end up:
  • unco-ordinated
  • non-integrated
  • purchased by convenience
  • disorganized
While a DC may have a general sense that things are not set up as efficiently as possible, he/she usually has no idea how much “financial leakage” is actually occurring and the staggering cost that results over time. With proper tools and professional guidance, it is actually very easy to recover wealth that was slipping away to financial institutions, as long as you know how and where to look.

FINANCIAL X-RAY
Similar to chiropractic, the beginning of a healing or fixing process involves a proper assessment. In this case, we mean an assessment of your financial health. The first step in determining how best to proceed is to have your financial x-ray taken. This x-ray becomes a current snapshot of your entire financial life, on one page. The x-ray also serves as a blueprint to document your starting point, and can be referred back to as you measure your progress in the future.

Similar to the way a chiropractor can quickly read an x-ray, an expert planner, using this tool, is now in a position to identify areas that are working well, and also point out issues that are of most concern and need to be addressed immediately.

STRATEGIC FINANCIAL MODELS
Utilizing the information gathered from your financial x-ray, various personal financial models can now be developed. With the help of a professional, different financial strategies can now be compared, and their effectiveness verified. Once the chiropractor is in a position to see and understand the results that are attainable, he/she becomes highly motivated to implement the strategy. The goals to be achieved are straightforward and well worth the time invested. They are:
  • to increase your wealth
  • to decrease your risk
  • to do so at no sacrifice to your lifestyle
Building wealth is an important part of life for all of us. It involves ongoing review and “adjustment.” Although some of us are not motivated by material possessions, financial security does allow us to have choices in our lives. For some, it means more free time, travel, charitable endeavours or early retirement. For almost all of us, being financially independent, and in control, means less stress.

Make this the year to take charge of your financial destiny and get your wealth in motion. •

nancypaulPaul Philip, CFP, CLU, and Nancy Philip, CFP , CLU, have been advising hundreds of chiropractors across Canada since 1992. Their firm, Financial Wealth Builders, is located in Toronto, Ontario.

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