Gimlet Media provided all entrepreneurs with a gift chronicling the process of starting their company.  The stages were well known but the podcast format allowed us to listen to every aspect of the messy process.  The partnership and family conversations made me cringe but they still stick in my memory today.  Gimlet named the podcast StartUp and the group they are currently following is a church plant.  Ironically there are many similarities between a successful church plant and a successful wealth management practice.  Before you hit delete please read why I have faith.

The minister on the podcast asks his members three great questions that we can also use in our wealth advisory practices.  The questions are:

What do you want?
Statistics on church plants show that they must take a definitive  position on what they believe to attract and retain members.  The three beliefs are do you accept and marry homosexual couples, can women hold senior positions in the church and do you believe in Hell?  While the answers might seem obvious many churches have a "mealy mouth" answer to one or more of the questions causing potential members to look elsewhere.  The largest church planting organization has some statistics to help. Wealth Mangers also have some questions that they must answer definitively.  A recent InvestmentNews article summarized the five principals that separate top performing firms. We believe that there are only three questions wealth management firms need to answer - passive or active, how do you implement alternative investments and fixed or variable fee schedule.  Custodians and Consolidators have statistics that can help.  We can’t afford  “mealy mouth” answers.

What do you fear?
People in the church fear that God does not hear their concerns.  Wealth advisory clients fear that they will run out of money before they die.  Unfortunately the answers are not listed on a billboard or found in a book.  We need to engage an experienced confidant that can help us open our mind and heart to find the answers that work for us.  Churches and Wealth Advisory firms share a common goal and fear.  They both need tithing and fee paying clients to fund their enterprise.  Both fear losing people based on a controversial opinion they have.  Experience has shown both should be terrified of not taking a stand.  The outcome is never as bad as we fear.

What do I need to surrender?
We need to realize that we don't have all of the answers and once we get there, each of us needs to surrender our concerns to our minister as well as to our financial advisor.  A good financial advisor will listen and prevent us from making emotional and unrealistic decisions that deviate from our financial plan.  A good minister can prevent decisions that could wreck our life by using her guide that has been around for over 2000 years.  

Believing in God requires Faith.  So does believing the projections on the final pages of a wealth manager's pitch book. I will take the leap.


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