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Finding your financial why

Simon Sinek had a famous TED Talk  titled, “How great leaders inspire action,” which gave birth to the concept of the Golden Circle and starting with the question “Why?” I believe this rational can be applied to your financial goals to inspire you to take purposeful action, and help you pursue your financial goals with maximum fulfillment.

In this amazing Ted Talk Simon Sinek famously stated, “Everyone knows what they do, we know how we do it, but few people know why they do it.” He goes further by stating, “Knowing your WHY gives you a filter to make choices at work and at home that will help you find greater fulfillment in all that you do.”

If we are able to take the time to introspect, and determine the WHY behind our financial goals, we just may unleash an internal passion and motivation to pursue them that is strong enough to overcome the greatest of our money temptations, and behavioral shortcomings. Following are some steps to follow that can aid you in finding your financial why, add intention to your financial decisions, and light your financial goals on FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early).

1. Take time to think about your past. What do you truly care most about? What worries do you have? What don’t you want to happen? What type of life would make you most happy and proud?

Taking the time to think about the past can allow us to capture patterns that we may have not noticed or have ignored yet have been trying to tell us something all along.

2. Ask yourself why? Why is having money important to you? Why do you spend the way you do? Why do you invest the way you do? Why have certain things influenced you

Going through this process will clarify if you are being true to yourself through your actions, and help determine whether you are living your life based on your own why or that of others around you, such as your mom or dad, friends, or your favorite person on social media.

3. Determine if your actions line up with your values and your why? What actions support your values? What actions detract from your values? Are these actions aligned with your Financial Why?

If your actions align with your why, you will typically feel great about it. If they don’t, you’ll have this off feeling about what you did or are thinking about doing. Listen to that feeling, and stop and think about all of your financial decisions and actions. If they are in alignment with your why then do it; if not, then think about where that feeling is coming from, and resolve that conflict. Do this enough times and you will create a habit in your decision making that should make living your why easier by the day.

4. Determine how you are going to start living your financial why. What actions and habits are you committed to undertake to pursue what you care about and value most in the future? How will you remain accountable to yourself, and remain true to your why?

Write down the habits, routines, and decisions that allowed you to make the most progress towards your financial goals in the past.

5. Live and Share your Financial Why. Once you have your Why and understand your How, then you are ready to live it and share it. Keep your financial why front and center. Share it with a close friend or family member. Distill it into one sentence, and it can provide you with an opportunity to inspire others, and remind you why you are doing what you do. Your financial why will help refine your personal financial mission statement so that your actions and financial values/financial why are aligned.

Remember this is a fluid process, and one that requires practice. The important thing is to get started, have patience, and don’t be too hard on yourself. We hope this short article inspires you to take that opportunity today.


This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. LPL Financial and its advisors are providing educational services only and are not able to provide participants with investment advice specific to their particular needs. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.