Muddy or Clear? Defining Your Values


David Morrison

My grandfather was a rancher and attorney in South Texas. Strong and sharp witted until the very end of his life, his only real malady was poor vision. If ever I got between him and something he was trying to see, Pop always said the same thing – “David, you’ve been drinkin’ muddy water!” That was my cue to high-tail it out of the way.

I’ve found that many people are just as muddy when it comes to seeing their values. They lack clarity about what is really important to them. I have also found that clear and well-defined values are the stuff of financial inspiration—and freedom. I believe discovering and then clarifying our truest values is the best way to start sorting out our finances.

When I first talk to people about their financial planning we aim to discover their core values, the deeply held beliefs most important to them.  We explore those values using a tool called the Financial Road Map®. The questions I ask focus on what’s really important about money to you, and then move beyond money to the other things in life that matter most to you.

After asking “What’s important about money to you?” I often hear, “Money brings me security and freedom.” But security has a different meaning for me than it does for you; and so does freedom, and any other value we assign to our money. We keep working through the questions to help discover what’s underneath it for you personally. Because your values are deeply personal, a financial plan to help you realize them, to live a life full of what’s important, is inspirational and can move you to action.

I’ve had this values conversation with hundreds of people: young, old, married, unmarried, with from all walks of life. A joy for me comes from working with couples, ones who have been together for 20, 30, or more years. They walk through the values exercise together and then look at each other and say, “Oh, now I get it, that’s why you do that,” or, “That’s why you say that!” I love watching those light bulbs turn on.

As couples collaborate on this exercise not only do they better understand their own values, but they also better understand what really makes their partner tick. Values clarity, about your own values and your partners’, helps you make smarter choices and increases the probability of achieving your goals.

Are you ready to get past the muddy water and figure out what makes life most meaningful to you?

If you’re interested in going through the Values Conversation for yourself, email me at David.Morrison to request a complimentary copy of Values-Based Financial Planning: The Art of Creating an Inspiring Financial Strategy.

Hat’s off to you for your willingness to discover your core values! Next time we’ll explore meaningful milestones and setting specific goals.

“When your values are clear, your decisions are easy.” ~ Roy Disney

To schedule an appointment and/or request a copy of the LPL Research

Outlook 2019, email or call:

David Morrison is a financial advisor and partner at Prosperion Financial Advisors in the Denver Tech Center. Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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