Organizations representing financial advisors should speak out more on the important economic issues of the day, says Richard B. Wagner, author and founder of Worth Living in Denver..
“The financial planning profession should take a more vocal leadership role on public issues,” says Wagner. “We talk about stock prices -- what market goes up and what goes down -- but we do not talk about the big issues that shape the world.”
Wagner is the author of an article, “Financial Planning Saves The World,” published in Financial Advisor magazine. Wagner, an attorney and Certified Financial Planner, has been very active in financial planning for many years. He and other advisors talked about the paper and the future of financial planning at the FPA annual conference Experience 2013 in Orlando, Fla.
“It is part of our professional responsibility to speak to the financial questions that help us understand the world around us,” Wagner says. “Instead, we hide in the bushes when it comes to the big issues about money.”
Wagner argues that every action and every other profession is related to financial planning.
“Our work is ultimately the most important of all professions because it affects everything else at the roots,” he says in “Financial Planning Saves The World.” “It is essential to the peace, freedom and prosperity of the human species, individually and collectively.”
Mary Zimmerman, a co-panelist with Wagner at FPA, agrees with Wagner that money skills are the survival skills of the 21st century. Zimmerman is a teacher at the Kinder Institute, an educational forum that trains financial planners to be life planners, and is with Path Financial Strategies in Phoenix, Ariz.
“If lives can be changed, it is going to be with money,” Zimmerman says. “Our profession is about marrying money and meaning with people, finding out what they want, and building a financial plan out of that.”
Zimmerman noted the large number of international advisors who attended the FPA seminar. “I think it shows that people all around the world are grappling with their wants versus their needs. Our job is to help them connect their money with their deepest ideals.”
Roy T. Diliberto, chairman of RTD Financial Advisors Inc. based in the Philadelphia area, who was also a panelist at the seminar, brings the question down to the individual client.