Consumers of any product or service are accustomed to yielding to the experts when it comes to a major life event.
After all, a patient awaiting brain surgery isn't going to lay out a step-by-step "to do" list for the surgical specialist holding the scalpel. Similarly, a tourist hacking through the jungle in Uganda isn't going to issue a blueprint to the native tour guides on how to find magnificent animals.
That used to be the case, by and large, for financial advisors, as well, especially in laying down the law on financial goals and end-games that often required intricate strategies to achieve.
At least one expert doesn't believe that's necessary - at least in the case of financial advisors and client financial goals.
According to Dr. Kristy Archuleta, an associate professor at Kansas State University, who led a recent report entitled "Financial Goal Setting, Financial Anxiety, and Solution-Focused Financial Therapy: A Quasi-Experimental Outcome Study," it's perfectly acceptable - even preferable - for clients to create their own "financial goals" plan.
Archuleta's study focuses on "solution-focused therapy" (SFT), which the report defines as a "clinically proven psychotherapeutic approach that is known to be an effective tool in helping people deal with a variety of issues."
SFT, Archuleta states in the paper, is a "pragmatic approach based on a theoretical perspective that utilizes helping techniques that focus on client strengths, skills, and attributes rather than past and current problems." Specifically, a subset of solution-focused therapy "for dealing with financials issues" called solution-focused financial therapy (SFFT) can "help clients reduce financial stress and move towards goal accomplishment," thus creating a path for financial advisory clients to plan out their own long-term money management goals.