With the certain knowledge that I belonged somewhere in the world of financial planning, I enrolled for a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning (2007) and became a Certified Financial Planner® in 2008. The universe conspired in my favour and I was introduced to Barclay Hoar and John Campbell, owners of the independent financial planning business, Chartered Wealth Solutions. They agreed to hire me as a para-planner, but we all soon realised that I was completely unsuited for this position – for one thing, my computer skills were sadly lacking! I resigned from my paid position at Chartered Wealth Solutions, but continued going into the office every day, not sure where my future lay, but quite sure that this was where I belonged.
George Kinder’s book, Seven Stages of Money Maturity, honed my thinking that I could indeed add something of value to the industry. George’s philosophy resonated with me as it supported my view that financial planning should incorporate and consider a larger life plan. I packed my bags and went to the UK where I began my one-year journey in pursuit of my Registered Life Planner certification from the Kinder Institute which I received in 2009.
George Kinder’s message echoed my search for spiritual meaning and psychological issues around financial matters. He illustrates seven psychological stages people go through in the relationship with money: Innocence (not knowing anything), Pain (discovering that we need to work to earn money), Knowledge (of skills such as saving and investing), Understanding (more sophisticated emotional wisdom about greed and inequality), Vigor (energy to reach financial goals), Vision (directing vigor outward, perhaps to a community) and Aloha (altruism without expectation of gain of any kind).
Kinder teaches us how to understand our feelings that impact on our financial decisions, so that we can let go of destructive habits and design a life that is fulfilling both financially and spiritually.