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Strategy to reach your goal

Occam's razor, a principle of simplicity used in problem solving, was popularised by William of Ockham in the 14th century.

Occam's razor, a principle of simplicity used in problem solving, was popularised by William of Ockham in the 14th century. Its essence holds that, when confronted with two

different theories or approaches choose the simplest one!

I believe the same holds true when it comes to planning. Most situations do not call for an epic-sized financial plan. No matter what your station in life, what you and your advisors need to do on an ongoing basis is to ask and answer three fundamental questions: 1. What keeps you awake at night? Everyone has dangers and risks before them that need to be reduced or eliminated. Perhaps there's a wall that you've hit in your career that requires additional training to break through. If you're an entrepreneur, maybe you're facing some intense competition that necessitates exploring new markets. Then there are the obvious fears! All of us in some way fear our own mortality or health challenges. Without dealing properly with the dangers in our lives, our efforts to move forward can be seriously compromised.

2. What are the biggest opportunities in your life that need to be seized? Having dealt with the risks that can sometimes immobilize us, we are then free to pursue all the possibilities that lie ahead. That could

mean travelling the world, reengaging a dormant hobby, or spending more time with family and friends. It could involve the decision to pursue an additional university degree or perhaps to develop a business plan for that brave new idea that the market awaits. I recently spoke to a client who is building a vacation home as a focus to bring the children and grandchildren closer together.

3. What strengths need to be reinforced and maximized? Moving ahead with any plan requires confidence. The only way to build confidence is to continually build and leverage your strengths. Focus on what your capabilities are and try to clearly establish what your unique gift to this world is. Once you nail it, you'll be motivated to build that capability to genius level! If you focus on your weaknesses, all you'll end up with are a whole bunch of strong weaknesses!

Notice that I haven't even discussed money? Having a conversation surrounding these three important questions allows us to set a proper context for the financial plan. The clearer we become about our risks, opportunities and strengths, the more we'll realize that financial well-being is not a goal. It's a critical tool to help realize the real goals.

The opinions expressed are those of Richard Vetter, BA, CFP, CLU, ChFC, a certified financial planner of WealthSmart.