How to start your financial life

December 18, 2020 by Tom Burmeister

How to start your financial life episode of the Animal Spirits podcast sponsored by Advicent

About the author

Tom Burmeister

Vice president, financial planning

As vice president of financial planning, Tom is an integral contributor to the strategic vision around our financial planning initiatives. Additionally, he is critically involved in all partner interactions, thought leadership contributions, and internal training programs.

We at Advicent are excited to be sponsoring today's episode of the Animal Spirits podcast hosted by Michael Batnick and Ben Carlson. For the listeners that may not be familiar with Advicent, we are the provider of NaviPlan – an industry-leading financial planning solution trusted by over 140,000 financial professionals across over 3,000 firms worldwide. This includes four of the top five custodians, 15 of the top 25 broker-dealers, seven of the top 10 North American banks, and seven of the top 10 North American insurance firms.

This episode discusses some of the financial decisions facing young investors such as how to talk about money with a significant other, buying your first home, starting to save for retirement, and more. Listen to the full episode below:


In the following sections, let’s see how NaviPlan is equipped to handle some of the strategies discussed by Michael and Ben during this episode.

Goal setting

While Michael and Ben spoke about a number of topics ranging from saving for an engagement ring, talking about money with your partner, and even how to start saving for retirement, it dawned on me that we were really talking about financial goal setting.

One tool that NaviPlan offers to make goal setting for your clients much easier is the NaviPlan client portal. The reason I really value the NaviPlan client portal is because it allows your clients to aggregate all of their assets in one place and then start defining some of their future goals. Saving for an engagement ring, wedding, or a house down payment are really just major expense goals. These are the things that the NaviPlan client portal is designed to help your clients identify and accomplish.

Account aggregation

One of the strongest components of the NaviPlan client portal is its integration with MX for high-powered account aggregation. This integration allows clients to pull all their financial assets and liabilities into one centralized location so that they have a clear picture of their finances.


This net worth snapshot is then clearly displayed in the NaviPlan client portal and the values are updated on a daily basis. As a bonus, the accurate net-worth data is then pulled directly into NaviPlan so that the advisor can begin planning with accurate financial data.

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Goal definition

As I previously mentioned, many of the goals discussed by Michael and Ben were simply major expense goals. The NaviPlan client portal allows clients to identify and define their own goals during the fact-finding process. I love the major expense goal simply because it is more tangible for younger planning clients.


While everyone needs to save for retirement, younger clients are decades away from retiring and can have trouble emotionally connecting with a retirement goal like they would with a more immediate major expense goal. The NaviPlan client portal allows your clients to not only add as many goals as they want, but also allows them to see their varying goal outcomes with the “What are my options” feature.

Thanks to Michael and Ben for touching on these topics that face so many young investors. Often for advisors, getting clients to understand where they currently sit and clearly drawing a path to their future financial goals is a great start for a lasting client-advisor relationship. With more clients than ever before seeking financial advice, now is an excellent time to prepare your firm to handle the influx of young prospects. For more information on how NaviPlan can help serve the needs of your clients, click here.

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