Leon's Articles

What is Holistic Financial Planning and Do You Really Need It?


            Leon Hiracheta LUTCF, FSCP

You've probably heard of Holistic Planning and maybe been handed a brochure by some well-meaning insurance agent. Maybe you've seen something about it on the internet, probably on somebody's website. If you've ever sat down with a salesman, and who hasn't, he probably tried to tell you how different his planning method is, but you walk away feeling that he does the exact same thing as the last guy you talked to. Worse yet, your more confused than when you walked in. And the question is still there, how can you know who would be the best person for you to work with regarding your retirement? If you're like most people, your retirement is a once in a lifetime event and you want the best advice possible.

That's why I decided to write this little story. To help you know if you're working with a salesman, or a Holistic Financial Advisor. Believe it or not, there is a difference and that difference could affect your retirement and how you spend your golden years.



You're planning a special dinner for you and your spouse, so you head to the grocery store to pick up a couple of steaks for dinner. You get to the meat counter you ask Carl the butcher “Hey Carl, what's good today”?  Well, Carl Says, I've got some great meat that just came in from a new ranch in Texas. They have a new manager at the ranch and he's been developing the best cut of beef you can buy anywhere. I think your gonna like it. Since you know Carl and Carl knows what you like, you tell him to give you a couple of his best steaks, which he gladly does.

Then you ask him “What else you got that's good?” Well, Carl says, I know you've been getting different cuts of steak for a long time, but here's some really, great pork chops from a new place that we really love. It's a little different from what you've been getting, but it'll be great, trust me on this, your gonna love ‘em! Great you say, wrap em up. And with that you give Carl your thanks for doing such a wonderful job and you head to the other departments to fill your shopping cart.

Eventually you bump into Tammy, the stores nutritionist and you ask her for suggestions for an awesome dinner. First, she tells you, maybe you should try some Almond milk, it has less fat and may be healthier for you then your usual whole milk. How about some fresh salmon, it's good for your heart, not as much fat or calories as your steaks and goes well with a glass of wine which is also good for your heart. While you're at it, she says, maybe put a few more fruits and vegetables in your cart, lots of vitamins and good for your digestion. She recommends a little surf and turf for dinner. No reason to give up the steaks entirely, she says, just balance it out a little.



The difference between Carl and the Tammy is that Carl is a salesman. He's a good salesman because his job is to sell you the meat that he has in his counter and every time you see him, that's what he does. He sells you what he has available, what the store gives him to sell. Maybe it comes from different places and maybe the cuts and quality change from time to time, but Carl is a salesman plain and simple. He will sell you the best cut of meat he has, because that's what he does, and it's the most he can do for you.

Tammy on the other hand, is a Licensed Nutritionist and is concerned with your whole body and all the different items that your putting into your cart. Of course, she wants you to have a great meal, but she wants it to be balanced and nutritious. She doesn't want to just fill you up with a great steak, she wants to nourish your entire body with a great healthy meal customized just for you and your loved ones. Tammy's not a salesman she's worried about your whole body, not just filling your stomach.

That's the difference between working with a broker, an insurance agent, or a Holistic Financial Advisor. A good Holistic Advisor will also be a licensed Fiduciary and will always be required, by law, to put your best interest before his or his companies.

Holistic Advisors who are Licensed Fiduciaries can be hard to find. Next Saturday morning when you're at your favorite grocery store, look in the meat department and count the number of people working back there, then try to find the stores nutritionist. If your store is anything like the stores in our town, you might see a dozen or more people working the meat counter and maybe one nutritionist for the entire store. That's because the meat department makes money, lots of money and most stores, like brokers and insurance companies couldn't survive without their salesmen selling their products.


Not that it's a bad thing, but you as the consumer and client should be aware and maybe do a little more shopping around before you grab whatever they're selling as the latest and hottest new thing.

Some licensed Independent Fiduciaries may charge you a fee for their consultation and advice, the same way a licensed Independent Nutritionists might. With some, their advice is free of charge if you become a client and they might get paid from the investment company that you end up putting your money with. Yes, a licensed, Holistic Fiduciary, may offer mutual funds, insurance, annuities and so on, but they have a legal obligation to make sure that your combination of investments and insurance is the best thing for you and not themselves or their company. This is the same way a Licensed Nutritionist helps you fill your shopping cart with the best balance of foods, just for you. Either way it will be worth it to explore the possibilities of working with an Independent, Licensed Fiduciary that takes a Holistic approach to your financial health and wellbeing.

After all, putting together the best financial plan, like an awesome dinner, can't be done by a salesman, it takes proper balance of the best ingredients to deliver the best retirement for you and your loved ones. If your dinner doesn't go well, there's always a do over tomorrow. If your retirement doesn't go well, there are no do overs. Make sure it's done right the first time because your retirement will last you for the rest of your life and you don't want to be going into your favorite grocery store looking for a job instead of a great meal.


By: Leon Hiracheta

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