Understanding Your Story to Help Your Clients Write Theirs with Tim Maurer

3 min read
March 04, 2019

Personal finance is more personal than it is finance.”

This is a central theme that drives the writing and speaking of advisor, speaker, author, and XYPN LIVE 2019 keynote presenter Tim Maurer.

Tim has made a career out of “demystifying complex financial concepts” into something digestible and tangible—specifically understandable, doable actions. This is exactly what he does in his book Simple Money: A No-Nonsense Guide to Personal Finance.

It all starts with the recognition that money management is complex because people are complex, and financial solutions must be unique because people are unique. That’s why what works great for one person might not work great for another, something financial advisors see time and time again.

But just because money management is complex doesn’t mean that it should be hard. Complexity and difficulty are not one and the same. In fact, Tim argues that we have a tendency to make personal finance harder than it needs to be.

When we understand our story—including the “why” of our decisions about money—we gain the clarity we need to make simpler, more informed financial choices.

The key then to guiding your clients to better financial decisions is understanding their stories. But before you can understand your clients’ stories, you must understand your own.

As Tim explains:

“The ability to draw a story from our clients, helping them craft their own narrative, enables us to demonstrate how their lives and finances intersect. But without the ability to recognize and articulate our own story, we’re unable to effectively ignite those of others.” 

According to Tim, when we better understand ourselves—our story—which comes from understanding our history with money and the values and goals that drive our behavior with money, we are able to bring clarity to even the most complex financial and life decisions.

Tim will explore the importance of understanding your unique story in his XYPN LIVE 2019 keynote presentation, The Narrative Imperative: Understanding Your Story to Help Clients Find Theirs.

To begin understanding your story, you must first look to the past. Financial planning often focuses largely on the present and the future; advisors study the present and from their observations, create a design for the future.

Often, we underestimate, or ignore entirely, the significance of exploring our past.

This impedes advisors’ ability to deliver comprehensive financial planning because, in Tim's words:

“…we forget that recognition of our past helps explain our present and, without a better understanding, often dictates our future. Therefore, prior to writing the future of our story, we must explore its earlier chapters, both as planners and clients.”

Therefore, when advisors ignore the past, they are actually doing a disservice to their clients.

“We each have a unique story and an innate yearning for creating a narrative of our lives, as do our clients. Regardless of our technical capabilities, without the ability to see a client interaction as one in which we come beside them on their journey, joining our story with theirs, our ability to have a meaningful and lasting positive impact in their lives is limited.”

Through his XYPN LIVE keynote presentation, Tim aspires to inspire conference attendees to “hone their practices ‘in their image,’ amplifying their strengths and unique abilities...but all for the purpose of freeing clients to be authentic in their pursuit of customized goals springing from well-articulated values.” 

To hear Tim Maurer—the self-described “curious artistic explorer” whose career centers on catalyzing meaningful change—speak about understanding your story to help your clients understand (and continue to write) theirs, get your pass for XYPN LIVE 2019.

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About the Author

As XYPN’s Content Manager, Kelly Moorman is tasked with communicating the Network's value proposition to the world. For years, Kelly has helped organizations tell their stories in ways that inspire others to listen, and to care. Her penchant for a well-crafted sentence, good grammar, and clever wordplay has earned her the moniker “Word Whiz” around the XYPN office. She’s thrilled to share XYPN’s story with you and the rest of the world.

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