Friends, this is our stuff. This is where the finologists ought to come in, thinking big and grasping our end of the rope. It would be exciting to push the boundaries of finology and our work with individuals to address stress, sustainability and genuine wealth building.

Holding the other end of that rope, the politicians and pundits, the marketers and the media constantly trip over themselves to describe their respective takes on individuals and money. This is mostly politically partisan or salesy self-serving nonsense repeating decades old arguments appealing to greed and fear. They rarely show an understanding of modern money, the money forces or the problems facing folks in their daily lives. Yet these talking heads speak with such authority, you'd almost think they spend their days working with these individuals and their relationships with money. In fact, one might even surmise that they know whereof they speak and can see into the future.

As Bill Cosby might say, "Riiiiight." They don't. They cannot.

In fact, there is only one group of people with the authority to speak to these matters. This group consists of those who work regularly with individuals and their relationships with money, namely personal financial advisors and their collaborators. We are the ones in the trenches dealing with the mucky, yucky stuff that attends our personal relationships with money. We are the ones seeing and hearing the consequences of confused money scripts and personal tragedies. We hear the stories and witness the consequences. In other words, we know.

Unfortunately, we have let the "macro" folks define the territory, generally without nuance or perspective. We need to take our share of it back.

Personally, I am a mission-driven kind of a guy. Similarly, I believe this business of personal financial advice should be a mission-driven undertaking with a full understanding of the implications of our work. Namely, we work with people, their money and their choices in their attempts to function within the money forces. At the end of the day, these individuals create markets, determine our collective uses of resources and establish our respective cultures. We work with numerators, one by one, and help them make better money choices. Done right, we get lives well-lived. Done wrong, we get chaos and, ultimately, disaster. We need to step up.

These "think big" thoughts come to mind:

1. Money and the money forces are the most powerful and pervasive secular forces on the planet.
2. Individually and collectively, our relationships with money are critical keys to humanity's qualities of life both now and in succeeding generations.
3. Finology is the most important profession of the 21st century.

First, we must consider our roots and thank those pioneers. They were "thinking big" when they started this venture currently known as "financial planning." They did something no one had ever done before in their work with individuals and money. Seeking relationships as advisors, not just as salesman, they pushed and expanded the boundaries of personal finance in ways unprecedented.

It is intriguing to imagine a time when individuals were simply seen as customers. The life insurance salesman had to describe investments as dangerous and inappropriate while securities brokers had to portray life insurance as staid, expensive and unimaginative.