How to Use a Financial Calculator as a Trusted Advisor

What is the purpose of the Truth Concepts calculators? On the surface, the answer to this question may seem simple enough. The purpose is to mathematically prove financial concepts and strategies. Yet there is a deeper application and use that we find to be just as crucial. If you want to learn how to use a financial calculator as a trusted advisor, read on. 

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The Purpose of Truth Concepts

The primary purpose of Truth Concepts is to show the mathematical proof of certain financial strategies. Todd noticed that many financial calculators showed pretty images designed to persuade the client. However, these images were lacking something: the definitive data to back them up. For analytical minds, seeing how you get from point A to point B is critical. 

Truth Concepts was designed with the advisor in mind; someone who wants to do the work to prove that what they’re doing is in the best interest of the client. That way, you—and your clients—can be confident that you’re choosing the “even better” path forward. 

What this means for you, the advisor, is that you must be willing to keep learning and sharpening your saw. You must commit to learning the calculators with the goal of having a deep understanding. 

How to Use a Financial Calculator as a Trusted Advisor

There’s a misunderstanding that financial calculators are for the client. We can attribute some of this to the many calculators on the market, which are designed as persuasive pieces. And while you can certainly use Truth Concepts in your client meetings, you actually do not need to do so. 

Our friend and long-time Truth Concepts user, Mike Isom, regularly shares that he comes to Truth Training so he can learn the calculators well enough NOT to use them. While this may seem counterintuitive, the underlying implication is that the calculators are for the advisor. 

With regular, skillful use of Truth Concepts, you should be able to build your confidence so that you know what works, and that you ARE an authority in the industry. That way, you can get in front of a client and already “see” the possible solutions.

Your confidence is what will ultimately give your clients confidence in YOU—not your ability to produce a one-size-fits-all chart. 

Can You Still Use the Calculators With Clients?

Of course! This is actually one reason we offer a trial of Truth Concepts to anyone and everyone who wants it. Because it reassures clients that there’s no secret, magical gimmick that is being hidden from them. They’re not getting generic advice, and instead are getting real, provable numbers. 

Inevitably, you're going to have clients who want to see your work. Or, more accurately, who want to see THEIR numbers. The beauty of Truth Concepts is that you can use it in your client meetings if you wish. Some clients who are more analytical may request it.

Todd is consistently updating Truth Concepts 3.0 with new graph and chart capabilities so that you can show your work in images, too. And you can toggle between the graphs and the behind-the-scenes work.

The trick is knowing what to share with your clients, and when. Not because you’re obscuring anything, but because it’s valuable to know when using a financial calculator is going to create clarity and move your meetings forward. (And when it's not.) Some of the calculators can get quite technical. And what you don’t want to happen is to have a meeting get bogged down by trying to explain how a calculator works. In that case, you might as well send your client to Truth Training. (We’re not joking. Many advisors have nudged their more analytical clients to Truth Training… with great results!)

What All Advisors Should Keep In Mind When Using a Financial Calculator

Ultimately, don’t let the calculators be the end-all-be-all. Essentially, what you want to avoid is using the calculators (ours or anyone's) as a crutch. The calculators exist to support you; you do not exist to support the calculators. By this, we mean that you are the brain that makes the calculations work. When you use the calculators, they should help you identify even better strategies… that’s it. 

They’re not designed to outperform you or operate without you. They need your problem-solving skills and ideas to be effective. If you discover a really innovative solution for a client, it’s because of your work through the calculator. 

When you have meetings, remember that your relationship with the client and knowledge of the industry are the stars of the show. Your conversations don’t have to depend on using a financial calculator, and often should not. 

Truth Training Builds Confidence

The reason we encourage advisors to attend Truth Training with regularity is so that you can keep your saw sharp and understand the calculators with complete confidence. The calculators can be complex, and the more you understand the intricacies, the better you can serve your clients. 

Not only is it difficult to learn all the calculators in one Truth Training… the calculators are continually being added to. While you can learn about most of these updates in the monthly TC 360 meetings (for members), Truth Training gives you a deep dive into the full calculator suite. Regular attendance will make you an expert and give you invaluable time to connect with and learn from your peers. 

Visit the Truth Training page to learn more and sign up for our next 3-day event. To get access to our full library of training, as well as a complimentary annual ticket to Truth Training, sign up for a TC 360 membership today.

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