Finology, founded by Richard (Dick) Wagner, JD, CFP®, is succinctly defined as:
The study of our personal relationships with money, reciprocity, and the money systems. Academically, we define Finology as “the umbrella term for the various aspects of our personal relationships with money” (R. Wagner, Financial Planning 3.0, p.15).
- The study of people exchanging value.
- The study of money and people exchanging value.
- The study of the relationships between people and money.
- The study of money and the forces it generates.
- The study of minds, brains, customs and behaviors with respect to money and money forces.
- The theories or systems of “Finology.”
Finology was created to address the profound and personal nature of money’s role our modern lives. Finology opens new frontier for exploring and understanding our relationships with money, bolstering our capacity to cultivate health in these relationships and to use money to help navigate life with grace.
In the words of Dick Wagner . . .
“Our nation’s social and physical infrastructure is framed by money. We learned that if the money does not work as hoped, we might experience dangerous social and physical fallout. Indeed, this has hit both the public and private sectors with a vengeance....
Some among us must forthrightly address issues of reciprocity and exchange while hosting conversations about possibilities and implications.
...Economies are not machines and our money contains the elements of our souls. We must learn to talk about money with new language...
About the Philosophies of Finology
It’s important to point out that Finology is about more than understanding Financial Planning Clients (though that’s a great thing to do!). it’s about understanding human components of money on every level.
In an unnamed form, Finology has been around as long as people have been consciously engaging in experiences and making decisions about Value in our lives.
Money, I’m thinking, is a human construct within this. One that provides a place for our beautifully abstract minds to apply immaterial principles to our relationships with Value and our ongoing life needs of Giving and Receiving. It multiplies our functionality in ways that continue to challenge and mystify (hence the field of economics). It’s ingenious, really!
Still, why is it important to pair a payment, payer & payee, with a, “Thank you.”? This is simply an example, but the connections between money and humanity are endless.
On a deep level, our What is Finology? Project work in Finology is largely about Reciprocity and Posterity. This world needs us, and money touches everything. It may be cliché, but I am doing this largely for the kids.
Two sayings stand out to me, both R. Wagner.
“Money is the most powerful and pervasive secular force on the Planet.”
“Money can and should be used for great good.”
What this looks like is all about how we engage with money. How we engage with it is about our relationships with it.
This is our work.
What is Finology?
Explore | Educate | Evolve
Ultimately, the aim is to use money in “Powerful and Pervasive ways for Great Good!”
Realistically, we know it won’t be idyllic. But it’s a strategy.
What We Do
Finology was created to address the profound and personal nature of money’s role in modern society.
Finology opens new frontiers for exploring and understanding our relationships with money, bolstering our capacity to cultivate health in these relationships and to use money to help navigate life with more grace, possibility and joy.
- Gather in one place and make accessible the finological work that has been and is being done, allowing our inspirations and conversations to grow and build from one another.
- Create a foundation for the field of Finology that invites and inspires further investigations and supports bringing new finological thought to people within and beyond the world of financial services.
- Cultivate our understanding of the different ways that people exchange value, in and outside of money.
- Break open the collective conversation about money into the interior/personal realm, and invite the rest of the world to explore, innovate, and cultivate health within our personal money lives.
How We Do This
About the Team
Jake Wagner, CDMP
Co-founded the What is Finology? Project with (Richard B.) Dick Wagner, JD, CFP®
The two of them worked closely to produce Dick Wagner’s work after Dick left Sharkey, Howes, Wagner & Javer.
Jake is the driving force behind getting Financial Planning 3.0 published and on book shelves. Since Dick’s passing he has maintained the vision and drive to get the What is Finology project to be what it is today. He has a strong internal understanding of Dick Wagner’s body of work.
Jake has studied currency theory with his mentor, Bernard Lietaer. He worked for Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute (now Integral Life), enabling him to be an expert in the integral framework and Integral Finance.
Jake is the founder of Digital Marketing 4FP, a marketing agency focusing on CFP® Professionals and RIAs. He has studied the art and craft of digital marketing with Digital Marketer, Billy Gene is Marketing, Lee Goff and numerous other digital marketing experts.
Jake is passionate about helping our civilization have a better relationship with money and exchanging value.
Natalie Wagner Willis
Host of the What is Finology? Podcast
I'm a Finologist, philosopher, money-wellness coach, owner/founder of VitalFinancials, and Dick (Richard) Wagner's daughter.
I was raised to believe that money can and should be used for great good. As a social-philosopher and the daughter of Dick Wagner (the father of Finology), I've been studying people and money most of my life - and after deep thought, I agree. Money can and should be used for great good.
I'm here with the WiF? Project because I believe that our human, finological relationships with money are the key. Developing Finology as a field will open up our minds to our personal relationships with money and deepen our individual and collective understandings.
In 7th grade, I realized and promised myself something. What I wanted to do, and promised myself I would do, is make the world a better place. It sounds simple (& slightly cheesy), and it was. But it was also profound. I tucked this decision into my heart and began working backward on how to manifest. Slowly but inexorably, I turned towards people and money. There are many different ways to do great good. Mine is money. Finology is in my bones.
The creation of Finology opens the door for the work I've already been doing. I've been coaching for over 10 years and have developed two complete finological theories concerning cash flow: Money Breath and The Money Energy Cycle.
Understanding what money is and is not in our lives and what it means to us personally will cultivate health across our financial lives and bring health to every point where money touches our lives. In turn, bringing about great good!
When I'm not absorbed in pondering people and money, I'm raising my 3 beautiful boys and supporting my husband and his delicious food truck. I hold self-care, creatively and play as daily values, and I'm passionate about saving the world. Thank you for being here and please tell everyone! We need to get into people's heads and hearts to change the way we let the money forces run in this world. If we let them, and we should, they will do great good.
Project Producer of the What is Finology? Project
She is an experienced Principal Owner with a demonstrated history of working in the architecture & planning industry. Skilled in Comprehensive Planning, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Architectural Design, Laboratory Skills, and Architecture. Strong business development professional graduated from The University of Colorado.
Dave Bowman, CFP®
Our CFP® consultant, reviewing the content we publish at the What is Finology? Project
Hi, I'm the founder of Outsourced Planning and Co-Founder of Capstone College Partners and College Aid Pro™. My efforts in financial planning stem from the belief that people can realize their potential through thoughtful self-reflection, sage guidance, and intentional action.
I believe the calling of the financial planning profession is to provide that kind of sage guidance. Outsourced Planning's aspiration is to give planners easy access to the support of CFP® Professionals so they can be more effective with, and available to their clients. Capstone College Partners and College Aid Pro™ were formed to help planners guide their clients to better financial outcomes when investing in college education. My path in financial planning has led me to try and provide leverage and clarity to planners, helping them be better guides for their clients.
Senior Assistant and Graphic Designer of the What is Finology? Podcast
The glue that holds this project together. I'm fortunate to work and learn under some brilliant minds. In this family affair made public I help make and manage content that goes out.
I'm a graphic designer with an eye for interesting projects like this. I help keep the peace while learning every day from the rest of this team.
I consider myself extra fortunate to be able to help continue the work of Dick Wagner. I may not have known him in life, but I learn a lot from his wisdom every day. This concept of Finology is an intriguing one I see in every day situations. It's fun for me to explore the "fields of finology" with the eyes of a wandering hippie. I am quiet at times hiding behind my computer screen, but once you get me talking about something interesting (like this project) i'll talk to you for hours about it and whatever else .