What’s the ‘Magic’ Behind the Premier Circles Exercise?
07 Jun 2017
Whatever happened to the summer blockbuster movie? Living in Cedar Rapids all my life, one of my favorite things to do to escape the muggy heat of Iowa summers was getting a group of friends and family together to go see the blockbuster movie of the summer at the air-conditioned movie theatre (maybe because we had a wall-mounted air conditioner, and I just wanted to keep cool). In this age of Cable & Satellite TV, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and every other streaming service, there are hundreds of new movies that come out each month, and the days of waiting for the next big summer movie are long gone. I am very happy that my kids (ages 9 and 11), still like to watch the summer blockbuster movie from 1934 called the ‘Wizard of Oz!’ Of course, the ending is always the same for each character. As the ‘America’ song said, “Oz didn’t give nothin’ to the Tin Man, that he didn’t already have.” Here at PII we average around 5 to 10 new appointments each week in our office. I use a 1st appointment exercise with the ‘Wizard of Oz’ and the ‘Tin-Man’ in mind. For new people coming in, I always draw a diagram of 3 circles:
I then ask the new person: ‘If the 1st circle has you in it (I stopped drawing stick people 10 years ago, because I wasn’t any good at it), and the 2nd circle has the things in the world that we can control, what are some of the things in the world that you can’t control in the 3rd circle?’
I write down their answers in the Chaos Circle. Answers are usually similar for each person: The Stock Market’s, Politics, Terrorist’s Attacks, Inflation, Interest Rates, Health, Life Expectancy, My Kids’ Financial Future, The Cost of a Nursing Home, Taxes, etc.
If the new person does have one or more concerns in the Chaos circle, I then ask, “What are some of the things in the world that we can control?” Answers usually consist of things like: Spending, Savings, Debt, 401(k) Contribution Rate, Health, etc.
So if you come in for a new appointment, what’s the magic for you behind the Premier Circles Exercise? You will be helping us (and helping yourself), identify the things that you already have going for you… This is great start to developing your Personal Financial Plan.