A little memory tip grammar experts teach to understand the difference between a subject and an object is to remember that the subject is the person doing something and the object is having something done to it.

I think this is a fitting parallel for the difference between the transactional advisor and the transitional life centered planner.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve recoiled hearing advisors describe their “5 million” or “10 million dollar” client. I always think, “What if they heard themselves being referenced that way?” You see, in these cases, the client is not really the client, the money is the client! Their money is the object of that advisor’s desire. They want it under their management.

This advisor, not really understanding that the client is the client, fails to realize that this client is not an object to be gained but a subject to be studied. Their back-story, their present circumstances, their views on key money issues, their unfolding story, their hopes, aspirations and concerns are all part and parcel of the coursework ahead.

People have an innate, yet tacit, understanding as to whether they are a subject of interest or an object to be gained.