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Understanding Your Story

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Understanding Your Story


“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”   - Albert Einstein

Here is some inside information about your First Merchants Private Wealth Advisors team that will not get anyone into hot water.   Before any person on our team meets with you, we plan.   We take time to think about the questions we should be asking based on previous conversations or where we believe we need to gain more information.  This is all in an effort to orchestrate a comprehensive plan based on your life goals and making them a reality.   Members of your relationship team and internal partners who may offer expertise that could benefit you, but perhaps you have not yet met, come together beforehand to make sure we are asking the best questions each and every time we meet with you.   

The idea is to engage on a level that helps us understand your assumptions, values and beliefs all of which drive your goals and ultimately, gives us the direction to ensure you have the financial wherewithal to achieve them.   When done well and with sincere motivation, questions which may provoke thought or even trigger doubt, lead to better outcomes for your life and your heirs.  There is a financial connection to every life event.   As our lives change, and inevitably will, it is up to your team of advisors to engage with you to determine how to best position or reposition your overall financial situation.  

Here is a little more inside information to demonstrate how good questions can lead to better conversations, planning and ultimate success.   There is a strong likelihood that at some point during conversations with an advisor you may have been asked “what keeps you up at night?”  It is a good question and provides insight into what matters most to you.   However, another meaningful and possibly more thought-provoking question may be “how will your family manage if something were to happen to you and/or your spouse?”   If you are a business owner, a meaningful question may be “who will make important decisions for the company if unexpectedly, you are unable to do so?”  Delving into how you picture your future and the circumstances which could change that picture, whether for better or worse, leads to meaningful conversations that result in better solutions for you, your family, and your heirs.   

Consideration of how your family will manage if something happens to you and/or your spouse could lead to a realization that while your accumulated assets may appear to be ample or even plentiful, in the event of a medical or other difficult situation, liquidity may be a challenge.   Or perhaps, if elevated levels of care are needed, what appears to be sufficient funds, may in fact fall short.   If funds are not readily available to address a need, there are strategies and solutions your team of advisors can provide to make sure you are able to cover expenses either in the short run or for the long term.   To protect and ensure continuity of your business, you may wish to explore options should those who you expect to step in to manage your business choose not to do so or are unable.   There may be other planning options which could ensure you and your company have a strategy to fund buyouts, maintain operations and provide stability for customers and employees. 

Yes, these questions are personal and often difficult.   We are sensitive to our clients’ desire to discuss or raise certain matters.   We understand that being your central source for financial advice is predicated on mutual trust, appropriate timing and other considerations.  That is why we plan before each conversation.   We must be ready to address or anticipate important circumstances and ask questions in a way that is in synch with you.  Your life is a series of events which impact and build on each other.   Each conversation you have with your Private Wealth Advisors team will feel connected to the last.   We take our lead from you by listening carefully and pinpointing areas which may need to be changed or perhaps have not yet been addressed.   We believe the best way to serve you is by understanding your story and providing strategic advice and solutions which take into consideration your entire financial picture.   Asking good questions can lead to changing your story for the better.   We plan so your plan will be successful not just at a certain point in your future, but along the way as well.   

Audrey Mistor