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Turning Red to Green: How Cash-Flow Modeling Transformed an Advisor's Vision for Clients



Values to Vision is financial adviser Nick Lincoln's solo practice. Formerly specializing in product sales, Nick Lincoln opened his practice to better advise mass-affluent clients. He wasn't using any sort of cash-flow modeling system until 2008, when he attended a seminar about cash-flow modeling. When he saw how such solutions could change his clients' lives and truly give their money meaning, it changed his entire perspective of what it meant to be an adviser. From there, a fellow adviser recommended Voyant, and he knew he could take his practice to the next level.

The Challenge

Values to Vision specializes in mass-affluent clients. In fact, Nick calls his clients "family units", because he loves to and often works with couples. These are people who have enough money to obtain fulfilling retirements and other monetary goals, but not enough money that it's no object. Nick needed a solution that would both help him ask his clients the hard questions and find uplifting answers for them. As Nick says, "I can't do that with Excel."

The Solution

Voyant is now an integral part of Nick's planning process. The first stage is a discovery meeting, where Nick sits with his clients and talks them through their aspirations. For the second meeting, he pulls up Voyant on a large wall-mounted screen. He then casts a client's timeline, beginning with a chart that is entirely in the red with shortfall. Then, he slowly adds their financial details, such as savings and income. The cash flow chart begins to transform, and so does the mood in the room. Next, Nick and his clients speak. Where are they doing well? Where are they hurting? The cash flow chart helps him uncover important questions. Nick sends his clients home with a one-page report, to keep things simple and effective. Nick manages 68 family units, acquiring around five new clients every year. Each time he brings on a new client, he makes sure to onboard them using Voyant. Using Voyant also helps Nick give his clients an idea of how he operates. As he says, "I'm not interested in transactional work. I'm very process driven."

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