The Living Balance Sheet®: How This Tool Helps Financial Advisors

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The Living Balance Sheet® subscribers have on average higher profitability, meaning more business stays with the advisor, rather than a consumer switching advisors more frequently, According to The Living Balance Sheet® Productivity 2023 study.

As a financial advisor looking to grow your business…The Living Balance Sheet® (LBS) can help you do just that.

Here at Consolidated Planning, financial advisors reap the benefits of utilizing The Living Balance sheet to not only help their clients understand their financial outlook but to also identify where they can grow their business on a client by client basis.

In this article, we’ll explore what The Living Balance Sheet® is, and three ways this tool can help advisors grow their financial advising practice. With this knowledge, you can decide if the LBS could help you diversify and build a thriving practice.


What Is The Living Balance Sheet?

The Living Balance Sheet® is an interactive web-based tool available to Guardian advisors. Following a time-tested process, the goal of LBS is to better provide clients financial clarity, organization, and an understanding of how each financial decision affects the other. 

And they do.

LBS offers a holistic overview of your client’s personalized financial picture – and journey – all in ONE place. Organized and consolidated. 

But, all this financial information is only as good as how it’s interacted with. The step-by-step approach of LBS shows how the simple logic and order of financial decision-making helps clients better reach their financial goals. From protection and cash flow to liabilities and assets.

Moreover, the LBS actually makes your job as an advisor easier, more streamlined and even more profitable.


3 Ways The Living Balance Sheet Can Help You Grow Your Practice

Since everything is represented on The Living Balance Sheet®, advisors who subscribe to LBS, through their affiliation with Guardian, have the opportunity to do more and be more for their client. This means a few things for your business.


#1 Diversification In Your Business

The Living Balance Sheet® is set up to provide a comprehensive picture – not a narrow focus. It seeks to capture all that is possible for your client, allowing you to explore each and every opportunity for your client.

The modules and planning philosophy that you will find within LBS are designed to look at the broadest picture possible. Because of this, it’s easier to:

  • Have conversations around allocation of dollars
  • Address missing pieces to their financial picture
  • Build profitability with multiple buckets to draw on

All of this leads to higher profitability per relationship. So even if you have a prospect or client who expresses interest in only working with you for insurance OR investments, the model in LBS will clearly show the missing pieces – whether that’s insurance, investments, or cash flow.

Speaking of missing pieces. There is actually a risk to your business if you choose to just focus on insurance or investments. When situations fluctuate, tax laws change, or people’s appetite for risk or products shifts, the way business is done can fundamentally shift as well. Therefore, if that slice of the business is your whole pie, your business could be in jeopardy. 

Complete the puzzle for yourself and your clients.


#2 A Story Rooted In Cash Flow

Diversification in your business is only valuable when your client’s cash flow is appropriately accounted for. I know you’re probably wondering, “How is my client’s cash flow relevant to the LBS or the growth of my practice?”

Long story short, but it ABSOLUTELY is related.

The Living Balance Sheet® tells a very different story, a story that is rooted in cash flow. Cash flow is the key to everything in your client’s financial journey. Helping your client optimize their cash flow not only helps solve their problems but serves as a greater on ramp to discuss insurance and investments – allowing you to diversify your practice. And diversification in your practice means you’re offering the whole pie.

The LBS approach focuses on first understanding how much your client has available to save AND build wealth for their goals and then choosing products based on optimizing that cash flow first. Afterall, your client can’t fund their insurance or investments selections without enough cash flow to cover it.

Most tools, or firms for that matter, aren’t focused on getting into the weeds when it comes to cash flow. But that’s a huge miss. The majority of people aren’t worried about the rate of return on their 401k, they are worried about their cash flow. Whether that’s paying their bills, building a savings, or sending their kids to college.

Today’s cash flow affects tomorrow’s cash flow.

And the same story can be told for those closer to retirement. Maybe it’s even more compelling for these people. It’s not only earned income but unearned income – 401ks, investment accounts, etc. – how can we turn this into the right cash flow for your retirement income needs.

Adequate cash flow helps to protect future earnings and future cash flow for your lifestyle, retirement, and beyond.


#3 More Introductions Through An Enhanced Client Experience 

Think about yourself as a consumer, don’t you prefer to do business with someone because it’s effortless and streamlined?

We sure do.

One of your differentiators as a financial advisor has to be the client experience you offer. Not just because you want to keep your clients, because you do, but because you want to build a referral-based practice.

When you can WOW your clients, it makes it easy for them to refer to you and your services.

The Living Balance Sheet® helps elevate your client’s experience. In fact, it actually makes it easy for your clients to do business with you in a few ways:

  • Onboarding
  • Enrollment
  • Document sharing
  • To-do tasks queued up
  • Success scorecard
  • Liquidity
  • Preparation for retirement, and 
  • Overall financial progress overtime

LBS gives you and your clients everything necessary for a successful relationship, all in one place. And that’s how technology can facilitate the experience.


Find A Practice That Utilizes The Living Balance Sheet

While there are certainly other tools that financial advisors can effectively utilize in their practice, The Living Balance Sheet® tells a story rooted in cash flow which makes Guardian FR’s, and Consolidated Planning, stand out from the crowd.

But, if you’re perfectly fine focusing on one slice of the pie, a practice with access to LBS isn’t necessary for you.

Advisors who are seeking to build a consultative, not transactional, financial advising practice will benefit from LBS and the way it naturally lends itself to the planning philosophy of protection first.

And that’s what Consolidated Planning is all about. To learn why alignment between your personal values and the planning philosophy of the firm you choose is important to your success, chat with a team member about why CP might be the best firm for you.


2023-166407 Exp. 12/2025


The Living Balance Sheet® (LBS) and the LBS logo are service marks of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. © Copyright 2005-2023 Guardian  


The Living Balance Sheet® is a service mark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York. 

Published:  December 28, 2023