By: Patrick Corrigan
My dentist happens to also be my friend. We share a huge passion for aviation and a mild interest in running. He once shared something with me, and I don’t remember if we were flying or running when he said it, but I remember the instant impact it had on me. He said, “I consider myself to be working in the healing arts.” Say what?! If dentistry can be considered a healing art, then can financial planning be considered part of the healing arts?
Webster’s dictionary doesn’t offer a pure definition of the healing arts, but a few Google searches point toward the definition being something like “a creative practice that promotes healing, wellness, coping, and personal change.” In many ways, the essence of financial planning is the same. Sure, there are lots of numbers and figures that come with a financial plan, but the real power of the plan is to provide you with clarity and confidence that everything around you supports who you are and what is important to you.
Now, if you are lucky enough to be one of the few who has never felt any kind of financial stress or trauma, then likely the idea of healing may not feel applicable, but if you are one of the many who has experienced a financial set back or stress, healing can be hard. It can be difficult to move forward after a divorce, or loss of a spouse, or any other event that moves you off the path you were on.
Without being too woo-woo, money is a form of energy. By itself money has no meaning or universal properties to it, but if money is thought of as energy, it has an impact on our mental, emotional, environmental, physical, and social life. If our financial lives are not in good order, it is less likely we can move with ease and grace in other parts of life.
Just as any healing arts practitioner, our role as a financial planner is to meet you where you are, have no preconceived notions or judgement about how you got there, and do our best to help guide you from where you are to where you want to be. As with any healing process (physical, mental, or emotional) the work always falls on the person seeking the change. Yet healing tends to happen faster when you are working with a qualified and caring “therapist” who puts your needs first and is fiercely committed to helping you through your change.
For these reasons and more, I believe financial planning can rightfully be considered a healing art. It should be celebrated as such and not confused with the common belief that money is science and not art. Of course, it is both.
And that’s why it feels good and honorable to ply my trade with WCF, where we emphasize every day that success is measured not just by maximizing returns, but by maximizing a client’s sense of fulfillment in life.