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How The Values Card Exercise Helps Us Help You

By Scott McCord, AAMS®, BFA™

Many of us think about finances strictly in numerical terms. If I asked you to tell me about your financial situation, you might tell me about your income, your net worth, a budget you follow, or your retirement savings rate. And it’s true, these are all aspects of your finances!

But in reality, managing finances is more about our emotions and values than about black-and-white numbers. Our emotions and values affect the decisions we make on a day-to-day basis, so small financial decisions add up into lifelong habits that determine how and when we reach our goals.

Major Life Events Can Obscure Your Values

The relationship between emotions and finances becomes clearer when we experience a major life event, such as the death of a spouse, getting laid off from a company we’ve worked at for years, or even entering into retirement. When a major life event occurs, our values can become clouded by negative emotions and color our financial decision-making in significant ways.

Emotionally based financial decisions don’t typically end up being in our best interest. When we experience distress, we’re more likely to make decisions that are knee-jerk reactions because we don’t have the capacity to think through them logically.

For this reason, Anthem Financial has implemented the Values Card Exercise, created by Think2Perform Institute, to help you determine your core values and use them as a guide to make smarter, goals-driven financial decisions—especially when times get tough.

What Is The Values Card Exercise?

The Values Card Exercise clarifies your core principles and acts as a solid reminder of what you truly value during times of turmoil. No one has control over external economic forces such as bull and bear markets, global pandemics, or life events such as the death of a loved one or an unexpected job loss.

What you do have control over are your behaviors and the decisions you make in regards to your own finances. Your savings and investing behaviors are far more influential over your financial state than external factors, because these behaviors are long term and guided by your values.

How Can The Values Card Exercise Help Me?

To consistently practice the kind of long-term behaviors that will help you reach your goals, you need to make sure the decisions you make align with your values, especially during difficult times. The Values Card Exercise is a grounding tool that reminds you of those principles and clarifies what is important to you at this time in your life.

Whether you’re entering into retirement or recovering from a loss, you can look to the results of your Values Card Exercise to help you make sure that all your financial decisions align with your principles. In the presence of competing and difficult emotions, the unique results from this exercise make reflecting on values and financial decision-making a more rational process.

Work With An Advisor Who Prioritizes Your Values

When you’re dealing with a major life event, you want to partner with a financial advisor who focuses on more than just your bottom line. All our processes at Anthem Financial are driven by your unique values and goals, so every decision you make works toward the goals you’ve defined for the long term.

If you’re ready to work with a financial advisor who will help you make decisions that align with your core values, schedule a free introductory meeting online or reach out to us at or 309-214-0152.

About Scott

Scott McCord is founder and Investment Advisor Representative at Anthem Financial, providing values-based financial advice as a fiduciary. With over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Scott focuses on building long-term relationships with his clients so he can understand their unique values and guide them through the ups and downs of their financial lives, keeping them focused on their short-term and long-term financial goals. Scott has a bachelor’s degree in business management and accounting and holds the Behavioral Financial Advisor™ (BFA™) and Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) certifications, the Series 7 and 66 licenses, as well as life, health, and disability income insurance licenses. Scott is married to his intellectual and spiritual ally, Heather, and together they have two beautiful children, their daughter, Meyer, and their son, Grady. When Scott is not focusing on his clients and family, he volunteers his time on the Peoria Public Schools Foundation board, Impact Peoria board, and Rotary of Downtown Peoria board. To learn more about Scott, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Investment Advisor Representative of and advisory services are offered through Independent Wealth Network, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor. Anthem Financial is not affiliated with Independent Wealth Network, Inc.

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