Ep 145: The Transformative Power of “Why” in Finance and Reimagining Retirement with James Conole

James Conole, CFP® , Founder of Root Financial Partners and host of the Ready For Retirement podcast, joins Matt on this episode of Bridging the Gap. Together, they dive into the deeper aspects of financial planning, shifting the focus away from money and toward clients’ life goals. To start the episode, James recounts his journey, originally aspiring to become a baseball player and architect before discovering his passion for finance. He discusses the inception of his firm, Root Financial Partners, along with the priority of understanding clients’ “why” in financial planning.

James talks about how his journey in finance was shaped by growing up with limited funds and the influence of his first boss, triggering his realization of money’s broader impact on household harmony. He also explains tools such as purpose finder worksheets, aiding clients in discovering genuine motivations and proposing a shift from materialism to fulfillment.

Matt and James delve into retirement planning, emphasizing the importance of uncovering clients’ deeper aspirations. They explore the intangible benefits of a well-lived life and the trade-offs associated with delaying retirement. James further elaborates on how transparency and trust-building became central themes at Root Financial Partners, advocating for an industry-wide embrace of openness rather than fearing a loss of competitive advantage. He underscores the importance of living intentionally, urging individuals to envision their legacy and align their actions accordingly.

Timestamps From This Episode

[00:03:52] James shares the story of his journey in the finance industry, explaining how he got to where he is today.

[00:09:57] James describes the essence of the process at his firm.

[00:19:27] “What my bigger concern is, how do we make sure that you’re not just financially okay, but you’re going to be totally fulfilled during retirement?”

[00:21:58] James explains how he has successfully shifted clients’ attention from solely focusing on portfolio performance to recognizing the intangible value of enhancing their overall quality of life.

[00:27:46] Matt poses the question to James, “Do you believe that we as an industry need to be more transparent?”

[00:30:27] James shares his insights on the future trajectory of the finance industry.

[00:34:14] “There’s so much great technology, and hopefully that just continues to accelerate. But at the end of the day, it still is a very relationship-based business.”

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About the Show

Bridging the Gap is a financial podcast hosted by CEO Matt Reiner focused on bringing together leaders from the finance and the technology industries to focus on innovating the financial services industry.