January 16th, 2024

How doing a jigsaw puzzle could help your clients understand the benefits of financial planning

National Puzzle Day falls on 29 January.

While this might not be a particularly famous national day that you’ve celebrated before, the act of puzzling has been proven to bring many mental health benefits, including reduced stress and improved problem-solving.

What’s more, completing a jigsaw puzzle could be a helpful allegory for journeys you take in life, too. If your clients have approached you with financial stressors this new year, thinking about their financial plan as a jigsaw puzzle could really help.

Keep reading to find out what completing a jigsaw puzzle could teach your clients about the value of financial planning.

Creating a jigsaw border is like forming the foundation of a financial plan

One of the most important techniques to learn when completing a complicated jigsaw puzzle is to create the borders first. Finding all the pieces with one smooth edge and building the outer structure helps to:

  • Narrow down the pieces you have left to use
  • Begin building inward from the foundation you’ve created
  • Create a perimeter that shows the size and shape of the jigsaw.

As for your clients’ finances, they could potentially be improved by taking the same approach – and this is where financial planning comes in.

When your clients strike up a relationship with a financial planner, their initial conversations will surround the fundamental elements that affect their wealth – the elements that form the “jigsaw border” of their finances.

These may include their:

  • Current earnings
  • Retirement savings
  • Investment portfolio
  • Debts
  • Protection, such as life insurance
  • Inheritance and legacy plans.

Creating these “borders” may not only put your clients’ mind at ease, it could also highlight any cracks in their financial foundations.

Once your clients are aware of the areas that could be strengthened, their financial planner may help them form a robust “jigsaw border” that acts as a sound structure to work within.

Separating the pieces into colours could be compared to diversification

Another technique that seasoned puzzlers like to employ is separating jigsaw pieces into colour categories.

Doing so helps them to find the right piece more easily without sifting through every single fragment again and again. If they feel confused, or they leave the jigsaw for a number of days and come back to it again, having sorted the pieces into colours may allow them to proceed more easily.

Looking at a jigsaw puzzle as an allegory for financial planning, sorting coloured pieces into piles could help your clients to understand the importance of diversification.

If they are looking to expand their investment portfolio, whether in their pension, through property, or within the stock market, knowing how to diversify their assets is crucial.

Ask your clients to think of each colour category in a jigsaw puzzle as representative of a different asset class. Green could be property, yellow may be shares, red could be bonds, and so on. Without different colours making up the jigsaw, the image would simply blur into one block colour.

If all the colours melted into one, the image of the jigsaw would be unclear. Instead, using a diverse range of colours can help produce a clear image that stands out. Similarly, holding a range of assets in their portfolio may help your clients pursue their clear-cut life goals through investment.

Taking the time needed to finish the jigsaw is similar to long-term financial planning

Completing a 1000-piece jigsaw takes time, but remember, it’s there to be enjoyed.

Sadly, many people become bogged down with the frustration of completing an intricate puzzle, and the same is true for life too.

If your clients look at the scattered pieces of their financial plan and feel unsure about how to put them together to form an image of the life they want, we can help. A financial planner can help your clients to:

  • Solidify the borders of their financial plan, giving them a clear perimeter within which to work
  • Identify the different pieces of the puzzle and sort them into categories that will eventually form the big picture
  • Prioritise the sections of their “puzzle” they’d like to complete first, and the ones they can save for later
  • Enjoy the journey of building towards their goals.

Remember: financial planning should be undertaken over the long term. Just like completing a complicated jigsaw puzzle, reviewing your clients’ finances and helping to build an image that suits their life goals takes time.

As such, it could be beneficial for your clients to contact a financial planner as early in life as possible. This means that aspects like retirement planning and long-term investing can be addressed far in advance.

Get in touch

If your clients would like to learn more about how a financial planner can help them complete the complex jigsaw puzzle of life, email enquiries@prosserknowles.co.uk or call 01905 619 100.

Please note

This article is no substitute for financial advice and should not be treated as such. To determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances, please contact us.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Note that life insurance plans typically have no cash in value at any time and cover will cease at the end of the term. If premiums stop, then cover will lapse.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning, tax planning or will writing.

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