I am writing with a purpose: so that my clients, future clients, and maybe just a few curious readers can know me a little better. My line of business is deeply personal, or at least it should be. This implication is clear: "Financial planning is entirely an intellectual pursuit." In my world, the only standard of measure is quantitative. There is no room for qualitative measurements, no room for emotion. Not only is this the message of our culture, but this way of thought was part of my regular training for almost a decade. I will delve more into that in another post.
Instead of the intellectual pursuit, you are sharing your financial life with your advisor, more importantly, your hopes and dreams. You are asking them to sit in this vulnerable space with you; the least you would expect is for that person to try to know you. I ask for a lot of intimate details about people's lives. I want to know what gets you out of bed each morning. I want to know what drives you. Only then can I begin to "advise" you.
Before seeking guidance, you should have at least some idea who your advisor is and how they think. The problem is that financial people are usually trained salesmen. They spend the entire time talking about themselves and what they can do for you. More likely, they are looking for what they can sell to you!
As I stated in the beginning, my purpose in writing is to let my clients get to know me. Over time I'm sure I will find various sources of inspiration for my writing, but I will start with a few book reviews. Books and podcasts are my daily habits, for better or worse. One passion Talan and I share, and one that was a significant connection to Mark Rogers, was our constant pursuit of growth. I recognize that change is inevitable and want to be intentional about the direction. Intentionality hasn't always been a common thread throughout my life, and I still struggle daily. I may never feel like I have arrived, but I will never stop trying. As my dad always lovingly reminds me, "You've got a long way to go."
Reading books, prayer and meditation, walking, and fasting are a few daily practices that help. Because I love to connect with people through books, this will be my space to share some of my favorites. Don't expect 52 book reviews a year, though. Some years I may read that many. Others, I get stuck on a long one (here's looking at you, Stephen King). So instead of hastily rushing through, I will likely stay on a monthly rhythm.
I won't write much about pure fiction, though I love a good Jack Reacher book. Besides, the best lessons, the ones that take hold, usually take time. I will get to several that help me as I journey in grief. I will get to Vaneetha Rendall Risner's The Scars that Have Shaped Me, C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed, and Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning.
Before I get to those, my favorite book over the last few years has become John Mark Comer's The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.