Financial Happenings Blog
Tuesday, May 17 2011
I like to keep abreast of a broad range of opinions and research relating to finances. One of these sources is the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business. A new piece of research out from Stanford suggests that time not money provides the greatest level of happiness. It might at first seem that this topic is unrelated to the financial planning process but digging deeper it actually defines the most important aspect of the relationship between a client and their adviser.
The authors, Jennifer Aaker and Melanie Rudd at Stanford University, and Cassie Mogilner at the University of Pennsylvania, published their findings in the Journal of Consumer Psychology this year - "If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time". The conclusion from the report is that for greater levels of happiness we need to spend our time wisely and in particular:
- spend time with the right people
- spend time on the right activities
- enjoy experiences without spending time actually doing them
- expand our time
- be aware that happiness changes over time
None of this seems to be rocket science but as the report points out we struggle to sit back and reflect on these 5 key points and often rather get caught up in the pursuit of money and objects. If you are looking for a little more detail about the research it can be found here - If Money Doesn't Make You Happy, Consider Time.
How can a financial adviser help?
Financial advisers are not life coaches, although it feels like it sometimes, however a key aspect of the relationship with a financial adviser is the confidence and peace of mind that it should bring. We are here to at least help manage if not totally manage your financial affairs. This ticks both the goals of money and time. We should be working to ensure that you are smart with the money that you have but also by delegating some of the responsibilities to your financial adviser you are freeing up time both in physical terms but also the mental stress time that you need to exert thinking about your financial affairs.
This second aspect of the relationship is very difficult on which to place a value but for many it is well and truly the most valuable aspect of the relationship between adviser and client.