Since moving from Wisconsin to southern Florida, I have had the privilege of watching many rockets launch from my patio.

As I searched the sky at 4:30 a.m., it struck me that I never know what part of the sky to watch because each time they head off in different directions. And while we are enthralled with the launch, those rockets have a destination to reach!

Comprehensive Planning Is Like a Rocket Launch

That got me thinking about how ongoing financial planning is more than a launch as well. The work with clients starts at a launchpad followed by specific processes to create a plan to help them reach their destinations. Now, unlike sci-fi movies where the destinations are unknown, with productive conversations the destination very much becomes known. And yet each client’s destination has unique nuances to take into consideration. You, as the financial advisor, then act as the navigator who helps them reach their destination.

Quarterback or Navigator?

I’ve heard advisors or planners called “quarterbacks” or “captains of this ship.” Yet I think the word “navigator” fits better because a navigator is constantly course correcting. A navigator does not ever drive to the destination; they help ensure the passengers (clients) know how to get there.

There are many course corrections and adjustments to a client’s finances needed as life happens and so many different transitions to account for. You serve as that “anchor” who’s sitting at ground control keeping an eye on what they said was important to them, and on the goals they said they need to reach. You provide ongoing recalibration and a change in direction when necessary, which is instrumental in helping them arrive safely at their destination.

So, as you’re thinking about how to describe what you do or what term to use on your website, think about “navigation” as the term that describes the comprehensive, ongoing support that you bring to get them where they want to go.


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