I am not Your Dentist

John Robinson |


Why we have stopped contacting clients to schedule financial planning reviews. 
(Yes, we still love you)
By John H. Robinson, March 3, 2022
A long-time client called recently and began our conversation with, “Nice to hear your voice.  How come you haven’t called to schedule a review for a while?  Don’t you love me anymore?”  As you can infer from his colloquial greeting, we have a pretty good rapport.  “Who am I? Your Dentist?” I replied. “I don’t send you a postcard every six months to remind you that is time to come see me.  You’re supposed to call me!

To be clear, I have nothing but love for dentists, and nothing in my comments is intended to slight that skilled profession.  My point is that, aside from the occasional cavity or chipped tooth, we all need to go to the dentist for teeth-cleaning and checkup exactly twice a year.  Not monthly, not quarterly, not annually.  Twice a year.  Financial planning does not work like that.

Many years ago, I tried to establish the same sort of regimented semi-annual appointment schedule with my financial planning clients.  It was like herding cats. A typical exchange would be two voice mails, and an email, followed by, “Yes, let’s definitely get together for a review.  Why don’t you call us back to set the date after we get back from our vacation in August.”

What I discovered is that financial planning is different from dentistry insofar as there is no necessary frequency for conducting financial planning reviews.  While there is an obvious need to educate and engage with clients throughout the year, which we do through email, newsletters, and one-off phone calls and Zoom meetings, the desired frequency of actual review meetings (in-person or Zoom) varies from household to household.  I have clients who prefer to speak with me directly at least once a week.  On the other extreme, I have clients who would probably be irritated if I pressured them for a review meeting more than once a year.

Financial planning done right requires personalized service and guidance.  Rather than trying to make your schedule fit mine, it is a much better use of your time to direct you to the APPOINTMENT link on the upper right-hand corner of the Financial Planning Hawaii HOME page so that you may set the times and dates that work best for you.  This is also a more efficient use of my time than the aforementioned two voicemails, an email, and “Call me back in August” approach.



John H. Robinson is the owner/founder of Financial Planning Hawaii, Fee-Only Planning Hawaii, and Paraplanning Hawaii.  He is also a co-founder of fintech software-maker Nest Egg Guru.




Securities offered through J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. (JWC) member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Financial Planning Hawaii and J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc. (JWCA). Financial Planning Hawaii and JWC/JWCA are unaffiliated entities.

Fee-only financial planning services are provided through Financial Planning Hawaii, Inc. DBA Fee-Only Planning Hawaii, a separate state of Hawaii Registered Investment Advisory firm. Financial Planning Hawaii does not take custody of client assets nor do its advisers take discretionary authority over client accounts.

The information contained herein is general in nature. Neither Financial Planning Hawaii nor J.W. Cole provides client-specific tax or legal advice. All readers should consult with their tax and/or legal advisors for such guidance in advance of making investment or financial planning decisions with tax or legal implications