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The Lifestyle Benchmark

One of the big, big mistakes I often see advisers fall prey to is trying to solve problems with tech as a first resort and in one area in particular.

In this blog I’ll share what it is and a lo-fi but effective way of getting the same outcome when it comes to talking progress at review without the tech.



We know that being able to show progress to achieving certain goals is a huge part of demonstrating the ongoing value of advice. Pages and pages of research confirm it.

Unfortunately, most software tools that claim to be able to do it aren’t up to the job, so I build a tool that does…and I’d even argue this delivers a better result too.

The video is above, but if you’re interested, let me share a little of the backstory.


Some years ago I had the opportunity to present at a roadshow with Alisa Camplin.

Alicia is an Olympian gold medalist, and the first female to win gold at the Winter Olympics. The week and a half on the road I spent in her company was lesson after lesson after lesson.

One of the many interesting things I heard Alicia speak about was her journey from being a non-skier to a gold medalist in 7 years.

This is just one truly amazing factor in her story. She didn’t start out being an aerial skier, working her way to the Olympics as many do.

Literally, the first time she stepped on snow as an aerial skier was, well, her first time on snow…

…which makes you want to know how she went from zero to hero so quick, right? 



The method had a few parts to it.

She was very focused, motivated, and knew what she wanted (a gold medal), but that’s not enough.

She needed some ‘how’ to go with the ‘why’.

The how was a process by which she analysed what it took to become a Gold medal aerial skier across seven areas, modeled on the champion of the time.

What came out of in the end was a score, the score needed to be the best, in this case, 56/70.

Then she scored herself, and it was in single figures.

And over time she checked in every 3 months “what’s my score now? what’s my score now?” and she’d progress it in certain areas.



The opportunity is to use the very same process that achieved Olympic Gold to help clients achieve their own goals.

Let’s say there are 5 areas that we want to track our success:

  • assets,
  • savings,
  • lifestyle,
  • travel,
  • legacy,
  • education,
  • income.

You define what the endgame is for each – what you want to retire on, where you’d like to travel, how much you have. That’s the long term 10/10 score.

Then you define the 12-month “hop”, That’s what a 10/10 year looks like.

12 Months later, you review how close you got to a 10. Was it a 30/10 year or a 40/10?

How about the long game? How much closer are you to 50/50 than last year?

And then you can get the measurement of progress against what really matters instead of just investment form so that you have that in there. Then you could do the same thing to the overall picture.



That’s just one example of how to do it that’s simple, visual and powerful and, most importantly, don’t always start with tech.

Sometimes I do feel that it can be a little too easy to fall for the belief that “there’s an app for that” when in truth all sorts of issues can get in the way (eg. data feeds!)

Taking a subjective discussion and introducing a level of objective measurement around progress is huge, and can provide a really powerful framework for even more powerful advice discussions and leverage to get clients to think about the long game more clearly.

But it starts with the discussion, not the tech.

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