The Planning Process at Open World

The Planning Process at Open World: Ian walks through the six steps in the Open World Financial Life Planning process.


What's up, Internet? My name's Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance. I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd. In today's episode, we are going to be talking about our process here at Open World Financial Life Planning. The important part about this is that I wanted to get something together so that you could see what it looks like to work with us. I've already made a video, which you can find over here, about what it's like to schedule a meeting.

But what happens when you decide you want to move forward? The first part of our process is called Discovery. And Discovery is focused entirely on learning more about you and what your main and side quests are. It's going to be a conversation about where you are today and where you'd like to be in the future, and exactly what paths are important to you to take to get there.

The next part of the process is called Input. And Input is all about gathering the data. It's all the nerdy finance stuff that I have to do in order to give you good recommendations, like gather bank statements, and get tax returns so that I can get the exact numbers that are important for your financial plan. If you become a client, I'm your fiduciary, so I have to make recommendations that are in your best interest. And as a result, it's really important for me to get accurate data during input.

The next part of the process is Design. Design is putting together your financial plan draft together. It's collaborative. The goal is to compare the different paths from where you are today to where you want to be in the future and decide which one of those paths is the exact one that you want to take.

The next part is Delivery. Once we've finalized a financial plan, I'll sit down and review it with you. There's going to be about 20 to 30 pages of analysis accompanying a one-page checklist that's going to have all the things in it that you need to do, in order to make your financial plan a reality.

The next part is Implementation. Implementation is important because it's us actually doing the actions that are important to your financial plan. We will do them together. We won't move forward with any step without you understanding exactly what we're doing and why we're doing it, because again, this is your financial life. We want you to have exactly what you want and we want it to be actionable. We don't want it to be some sort of academic exercise. So we'll work through it together and find the implementation that works best for you.

Finally, at the end of the year, we'll do a Review process. We'll sit down in a meeting and talk about what we've gotten done over the past period of time, usually a year, and where we want to go from here. For some clients, working with us for a year is exactly what it takes to get them set up to move forward on their own. For other clients, they enjoy having us in their life on an ongoing basis because, frankly, having a partner and somebody to keep you accountable to the things you said you want is often nice for folks. But either way, that's kind of the end of our one year process.

You'll notice that this process is designed as a circle, and that's because for those clients that want us in their life on an ongoing basis, we don't really start over from square one, but we do revisit all six steps of the process every year, because the goal is to make sure that you are making the financial progress that you want. And we think these six steps are a really good way to do that.

Thanks so much for watching. I hope this video was interesting to you. If you have any questions about this video, make sure to go to our website and look over more details about our process. There's a nice graphic that was broken up into chunks for this video there. If you're interested in hiring a financial life planner, we would love the opportunity to sit down with you to get to know you better and potentially work with you in the future. Thanks so much. Have a wonderful day.

The Best Home You Can Buy (In Skryim, IRL)


What's up, internet? My name's Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance. I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd. In today's episode, we are going to be covering a topic that's been bothering me for at least the past eight years, which is: What is the value of a home in Skyrim converted to real-world money?

Now, I know this is an especially nerdy topic and much like the Let's Go video that I did last year on how much money you would earn as a Pokemon trainer in the Let's Go series, this is going to be a little bit of a deep dive into something that's ultimately pretty silly, but I find that these videos are fun to do every once in a while and you guys seem to watch them, so I'm going to keep making them. For the purposes of this video, we used Proudspire Manor, which is albeit the nicest home in Skyrim.

It's located in the capital city of Solitude and features two bedrooms and a servant's quarters, as well as full furnishings and being very, very well-appointed and easily accessible near the Blue Palace for 39,000 septims. That can be the foundation for how we compare property values to real life because if you didn't know the Skyrim's Nordic culture is very much based off of Swedish culture here in the real world, so we can make some assumptions that Solitude is referring to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, which means that what we really need to do is find a comparable home in Sweden somewhere. And I just want to take a second for you all to appreciate how hard that was. You see, finding homes for sale in foreign countries in English is pretty slim pickings. There are certainly websites out there that are real estate focused that are trying to get me to buy a home in Sweden, but there's not a lot of homes on there and frankly not a lot of them are in downtown Stockholm.

I did manage to find two comps, which we'll use. One was worth about 1.2 million, and one was worth about 2 million. The difference between these two comparable homes was their number of bedrooms, ranging from two or four, and their proximity to downtown Stockholm. Now being that the two comps were worth about 1.2 and 2 million dollars, respectively, that suggests that we could buy Proudspire Manor today in Sweden, downtown Stockholm, for about 1.6 million, which is pretty cool things to know. That 39,000 septims that you had to accumulate on your character in Skyrim in order to be the wealthiest landowner is about 1.6 million. So your character's a millionaire. Congratulations. Now, perhaps more interestingly, what this suggests is that the conversion ratio means that a septim is worth about 41 US dollars today, which honestly seems pretty realistic. I could probably go out and buy a gold coin with a cool design on it for $41 today. Right?

Another point of comparison for this, just to get your beak wet, is that if you wanted to go out and buy a Daedric Sword today, which in Skyrim costs about 1,250 septims, you'd be spending about $52,000 on that, which seems pretty fair for the flesh of a fallen demigod, if you're asking me. I don't know what the going rate for demigod parts is around the US, but $52,000 seems like a pretty good amount of money to charge for that. All in a day's work, am I right?

Anyway, I hope this video was interesting to you. It was kind of fun to research, and I enjoyed spending some time on it. Skyrim is one of my favorite games and I've been playing it for a very, very long time. I just wish that they would put out Elder Scrolls 6. Anyway, like, comment and subscribe if you enjoyed this or if you have some real financial planning questions and might not be focused on what the price of a sword made out of a demigod costs, you can feel free to go over to my website, OpenWorldFP.com and do some research on the services that my firm offers. Have a wonderful day and I hope you enjoyed it.

Setting Goals that Matter (And My Goals for 2020)


What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd. In today's episode we are going to be talking a little bit about goal-setting and my firm's goals for 2020. I have a pretty big belief that if you don't put your goals out there you probably won't achieve them, so here we go.

Let's start off with a simple question: Why does goal-setting matter? Goal-setting matters because you should know whether you've achieved the thing that you want. Most people will know a little bit about what achieving their goal looks like, they may have visualized it in their head, but writing it down or putting it into some form of content memorializes that for you and then you can look back and go "Hahaha, that goal turned out way differently!" or you can say "Wow, I really did it!"

The next part of this topic is the elements of a good goal. A good goal has a description - some texture around it - it has a cost - what is it going to take to achieve that - and it has a time frame that you're going to achieve that in. That way you know exactly what achieving that goal looks like. A good goal also probably provokes some feelings or thoughts around the goal. "What would achieving the goal feel like for you?" and "How would that change your life?"

So my firm's goals for 2020 are fairly straightforward. The first is I would like to pick up two new clients a month in 2020. I've recognized that I can increase my capacity a little bit which is wonderful and thankfully clients are coming in, so I would like to continue to move the needle on that and grow pretty quickly in 2020. Two clients a month may not seem like a lot, but a new firm bringing on 24 clients a year - that's a lot of clients! So, I think that will be pretty comfortable if that's what I average. Now, I would like to accomplish that average so, 24 new clients by the end of next year. The cost of that goal is mostly going to be my time, effort, and energy.

My second goal for my firm in 2020 is going to be to put out the next version of A Gamer's Guide to Money. We put out level 1 last year and it was really fun to do it. I'm really happy to have that out in the world, but I want to write some follow-up books. Obviously, level 1 only got a little bit of the financial foundation laid for the people reading it, it was a short book, and I think that that made it more digestible. It also meant that there's a lot of stuff that I still want to talk about, so writing that next book and getting it published before August will be my goal again. Like last year I'd love to have the book and the audiobook ready on my firm's anniversary.

Finally for my third goal, I would love to see this YouTube channel hit 200 subscribers. So, if you're watching this video on Facebook, or on Twitter or something like that head on over to YouTube and just click the subscribe button. Even if you don't use YouTube very often getting to 100 subscribers will enable me to have a custom URL, which will mean more people will watch it. Also having more subscribers means your channel gets promoted to more people. Frankly, I think that CFP®s should have a little bit more presence in the online community. We really don't, so as a result I would love to see that happen by the end of next year. 200 subscribers isn't that many, but it will enable me to to feel like I've achieved something so that'll be nice.

In summary, goal-setting is important because it enables you to benchmark your achievements. It also means that the texture of a goal has a deadline, a cost, and a description to it. Finally, my firm's goals for next year are to pick up 2 new clients a month, publish the new book, and get to 200 YouTube subscribers to increase the CFPs online presence in the financial community. I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you so much for watching!

More Articles ...