Broker Check

First Things First

October 29, 2021

What I want to share here.


I have things I want to share. The first thing I want to share is that I love my job: I get to make people’s lives better through financial education, planning, and advice, specifically through fiduciary-client relationships. If you have questions about your finances, I hope you’ll feel comfortable asking, whether that leads to a longer, deeper relationship or not.


I’m planning a rotating 4-topic, 2-week schedule in which I share:

First Monday: Chart Review

First Friday: Planning Fundamentals, starting with First Principles

Second Monday: Behavioral topics, starting with biases

Second Friday: Media diet & hygiene, mental health, “quotes to consider”, “the et cetera”


Today, I’ll start with the list of First Principles of Financial Planning I’ll be expanding upon in the weeks to come. I hope you find it helpful.


First Principles of Financial Planning


  1. Planning - failure to plan is planning to fail. Without a plan, the default action becomes "what is immediately emotionally satisfying", which is often against our long-term interests.


  1. Value – Being able to discern and understand value is one of our most important survival instincts and the key component to thriving and upward growth. Bringing value to everyone, in every interaction, is important to me.

  2. Behaviors – Knowing what causes us to act and react internally – emotionally and intellectually – and how that affects our actions, is vital to understanding ourselves, our relationships with others, and the world at large.

  3. Knowledge, education - better information and better systems to accept that information (such as mental models) will lead to better decisions and greater probabilities of better results. Knowing what to count and how to benchmark, are required.


  1. Expectations & Goals – what we expect from life is the largest contributor to whether we are happy. Understanding our expectations and how to set our goals is vital.

  2. Actions – Having a plan is great, but knowing which actions to take, when to take them, and how to execute them is what makes our goals into reality.

  3. Investments – where we put our time and treasure, what we expect them to do over time, and what those time horizons are, are important to understand and plan. When talking about money, we should know what every dollar is expected to do for our plan.

  4. Costs - time & resources (money, effort, relationships, anxiety) - what will you spend to reach your goals? Are there other, more cost effective ways to get there? How do you measure the paths to success and whether you are on track?

  5. Cash flow - cash flow is king, for two reasons. One is that it provides options and capabilities in the short term, the second is summed up in the long-term quote "income, 20 pounds; expenses, 19 pounds 99 cents, result happiness; expenses, 20 pounds 1 penny, result misery"


This list may seem haphazard, but I hope you’ll see the framework as it develops.

My hope is that you will find the concepts explored on this blog actionable, and that you will be able to put them to work in your professional, personal, and financial lives. Thanks for reading!