I was driving home from work yesterday when I heard an advertisement from a company that offers financial advice. They were selling their services on the promise of a truly personalized approach. Their message made it clear that they would ask you what your definition of financial freedom is and then use it help you to reach your goals. I thought this was an interesting approach. Here’s why:
Most so-called financial advisers sell themselves as investment advisers or portfolio managers. Most advisers often forget that there’s more to your financial life than just investing and so I was surprised to hear this company market themselves as dream-makers (my term, not theirs). Their asking you what financial independence means to you, shows that they are interested (of course I’m makings a few assumptions here) in helping you achieve all of your financial goals, not necessarily just those related to investing.
After hearing the commercial I got to thinking about what financial freedom means to me and I wanted to ask you, my readers, a little bit about what it means to you as well.
To me, financial independence is being completely debt-free (which means no mortgage), having an emergency fund set aside, maxing out my retirement accounts every year and being in a position to travel and fulfill my philanthropy goals. These goals are most certainly achievable (and measurable as well), but will take plenty of discipline, time and hard work to get there.
Here is my question for you, my amazing readers. If you were meeting with the previously mentioned financial advisory company what would you tell them when they ask you what financial independence means to you?