Life-Centered Financial Planning Essentials: Would You Invest in the Companies You’re Recommending to Clients?

Do you want to invest in companies that you are proud of?

I’m sure your response was, “Of course!” But truth be told, most us haven’t been paying attention.

It just makes sense to reward companies that reward their employees, their communities, and the world at large. It stands to reason that if a company treats their workers, clients, communities, and the environment well, then profits would respond in kind. To quote King Solomon, one of the wealthiest individuals to ever live, “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices” (Proverbs 11:10, NIV). When business is done the right way for all involved, everyone benefits in some way. We’re all happy to turn a profit—we’d be all the happier to know that we turned a profit properly and on principle. And so would our clients.

It boggles my mind that as a society we seek to align our values in almost every aspect of life—how we raise our children, how we vote, whom we work for, where we give our money—but not so much with our hard-earned savings. Imagine walking your 18-year-old-child to the front door and saying, “I don’t care how you do it, just go out there and bring back as much money as you can.”

One way to raise the percentage of advisors who engage their clients in a conversation about investing values is to have them complete a survey or questionnaire that digs into what is important to them when it comes to values. In Life Centered Financial Planning: How to Deliver Value that Will Never be Undervalued, my coauthor (Paul Armson) and I provide a sample tool to help advisors and their clients determine what’s important to them when considering investments—things like their own (personal) values, the environmental impact of their investment, how the company treats employees and customers, and commitment to social responsibility. There’s no reason for investing in a company that doesn’t support their personal values.

The first principle of life-centered financial planning is: align means with meaning. This is where the process starts.

Learn more in Life Centered Financial Planning: How to Deliver Value that Will Never be Undervalued, available at local or online bookstores as well as at