Exactly 10 years ago, Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the iPhone and changed our world forever. Remember what the world was like 10 years ago? Not only was there no iPhone, there were no apps, Twitter, or Instagram…and Facebook had barely launched (and for those of you with teenagers – yes, no Snapchat!). In just 10 years, almost everything about the way we interact and live our daily lives has changed. At the time he unveiled the iPhone, Jobs said, “iPhone is a revolutionary, magical product that is five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” He went on to say if Apple had given us (the consumer) what we asked for instead of what we needed, he would have just made a more compact flip phone!
In part driven by technology changes, along with other factors, the financial services industry and the way we are handling our finances is changing. The traditional approach of primarily focusing on backwards looking reporting (i.e. how did investments do last quarter) is sub-optimal and it is not tremendously useful in informing us of our progress towards a successful outcome. Forward-focused reporting and forecasting likely scenarios that drive a successful financial plan are proving much more productive.
This is not unlike the way we view our healthcare. Instead of going to your physician now and getting “Well, Mr. Smith, your cholesterol is X and your protein levels are Y” – which tells us data – but without context, we don’t know what to adjust, how to adjust, and if we are getting healthier or not. We now need and are seeing graphical depictions of our progress and customized nutrition plans.
The goal of both is the same – a higher quality of life, and peace that comes with having a plan AND knowing how much progress you are making. Questions like “How much money do we need?” will be replaced with “How will our money support our quality of life and what adjustments should we make to be successful?”. To that end, at E|Financial Alliance we are focused on innovating the planning and reporting processes. We are often asked, “Sure, this return looks great – does this mean we are on track?”
Good question – so what does all this mean for you?
It means we will continue to emphasize that everyone have a specific Financial Stewardship Plan, and we will begin to do more reporting against your overall priorities and your likelihood of having to make any adjustments. It is important to note that our investment portfolios have performed really well across the board over the last 12-18 months as compared to the US, International, and fixed income markets. So, we are not shying away from investment performance (in fact, we enjoy discussing it) and will still be reporting on portfolios. Although it may not be as revolutionary as the iPhone, we will gradually begin supplementing future reporting in the quarters ahead with more meaningful data to better track Financial Plan priorities, and even ROL!
As always, we are humbled and honored that you have chosen E|Financial Alliance to help you implement a vision and plan for your future, and look forward to your continued success.
Mitch & Destin