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Innovative Wealth Solutions: How values can help align a couple

This week we wanted to bring you a client story from senior adviser Mark Pearson from Innovative Wealth Solutions, a firm that ideally wants to help clients find a balance between financial health and living a purposeful life.

This story starts with Mark bringing in an existing client that wanted to bring her partner into her financial advice experience. She was keen to look at how they could better combine their finances and plan their future together. Let’s call the couple Jane and Bob.

Mark kicked off the values session and began the process of getting both clients to select their top five values cards. When it came to comparing their individual top five cards to create a combined top five, the conversation began to get interesting.

The first joint values card was a fairly quick selection for the couple, with both choosing "Become Active and Healthy" as their number one values card. But when it came to picking the second, the couple could not agree.

Bob, the partner, wanted “Support and protect those I love” - a financial value, while Jane was fighting for “Dedicate more time to those I care about” - a social value.

Bob was arguing that, for him, it was important they worked hard and planned their financial lives well enough to have the financial stability to make sure that Jane and the rest of their family would be ok. He was showing his love and support by being the ‘financial rock’ of the family.

Jane on the other hand was arguing for spending more quality time with those people that mattered to them in their lives and less time working. Jane wanted to show her love and support by being there for those she loved and spending time with them when they could.

This had become a friction point in their relationship because as far as she was concerned, he only cared about money and work and was not spending enough time with the family. On the other hand Bob was concerned Jane wasn’t seeing how hard he was working for the financial health of the family.

It turned out that both Bob and Jane essentially wanted the same thing but viewed the outcome through a different lens and showed their support in different ways.

While the discussion began to get heated, it ended up in a really beautiful place as the values session gave them a platform to have this type of discussion and dig deeper into what they each cared about and, most importantly, why.

Following the values session, Mark started moving on to the actual financial planning and long-term outlooks. For the first time, the couple saw what was driving their partner and could get on the same page to better understand how they could work together to achieve their long term plans, respecting each other’s points of view.

This is incredibly powerful when it comes to executing on their plans, as typically plans can fall apart because one side is sacrificing for the other person’s goals and it is usually the most passionate (or dominating) that get their way. But by coming together and understanding what each other is sacrificing for common goals, they can be more conscious of the actions they take and reduces the risk.

Additionally, giving the couple the space to discuss their respective points of view not only helped align the couple and their objectives but has enabled them to be more intentional with their goals and the role each person plays in the family dynamics.

The best bit - Bob, being the new client, was shopping around to find an advisor to meet his financial needs. However, following his session with Mark, he couldn’t understand how anyone was going to satisfy his financial goals and build a plan without first helping him have this context for himself. Needless to say, the couple signed up and have been progressing on their plan with Mark.

Congratulations Mark and thank you for sharing your Lumiant experience.

Want to learn more? Mark was interviewed for the Lumiant Live podcast, discussing this case study and how he went about a review process using Lumiant. You can find it below.

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Jul 23, 2023
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