THE QUESTION BEHIND THE QUESTION

2015 wrapped up and despite a flat market, RainierView Advisors, LLC (RVA) has definitely made progress. Running a financial planning business is always interesting since the topic will find its way into every other conversation but in different ways. For example, in December, I was catching up with some longtime friends. Despite the tenure of our friendship, sometimes people feel uncomfortable asking their FRIEND, for basic advice. In comparison, if I were Kayne West and you wanted a freestyle at the company holiday party, I might take issue. But atlas, I’m a financial planner. if I don’t need a calculator and it take less than an hour, then it’s usually without charge. Some questions are more complex than they appear but that’s a blog for another time.

They finally working around to grabbing my thoughts, they confide that they want to buy a bigger house. It’s no surprise that people don’t come to me for a blessing to upgrade their home. Consequently, a more complex issue needed to be discussed. They were recently gifted a concentrated stock position and the wife wanted to a start a business. The truth of the matter: the real question wasn’t about upgrading their house. It was the age old question: with our income and net worth, will we have enough? In here lies the challenge….their choices are very dependent on each other. An increase in mortgage payments for the next 30 years is a decision that shouldn’t exist in a bubble. Other factors like the long term expectation of the concentrated stock position, job security, viability of the new business venture, saving on children education, or even having a home office in the extra room necessary should be considered. Maybe these relationships are not as direct as we would like; however, they are not in isolation.

Listening while I sipped hot apple cider which was too sweet for my liking, nothing was said for several moments. I responded with a question about their personal cash flow and balance sheet. Their response was an inquiry about my calendar to book an appointment to put together a financial plan. There is often value in uncovering the question behind the question that financial planners can provide.