A Systems View on Personal Finance

Chukwudi Uraih, MBA
3 min readFeb 27, 2023

From cranking gears to cranking out returns, my journey as an engineer to data scientist to financial advisor has been a wild ride. I first learned about systems thinking through an elective course while studying for my master’s in mechanical engineering at Drexel University. Something about the concept clicked instantly, and even though I swore to never go to school again, I ended up getting a master’s in systems engineering at The George Washington University while working as an engineer.

Choo, what is Systems Thinking?

Systems thinking is a holistic approach to problem-solving that considers the interconnected parts of a system and how they impact one another. It’s a way of looking at the world that’s not just focused on the individual parts, but on how they all fit together to create a bigger picture. With systems thinking, you look beyond the obvious and consider how actions might affect other parts of the system. It’s a way of thinking that helps us tackle complex problems by looking at the world holistically.

Choo, why is it important?

Financial advising has earned a bit of a bad reputation. Advisors too often take a linear approach to solving financial problems, focusing on individual parts rather than the system as a whole. This can lead to suboptimal results, missed opportunities, and frustrated clients.

By taking a systems view of personal finance, we can ensure that every aspect of your financial life is working together to achieve your goals. This approach leads to more effective decision-making, a clearer understanding of your financial picture, and greater peace of mind. With a systems approach, you can identify the root causes of financial problems and develop tailored solutions that fit your unique needs and goals.

The Problems with Linear Thinking

Linear thinking is a one-dimensional approach that focuses on individual parts of a system rather than considering how they interact with one another. Unfortunately, the world of financial advising has often taken this approach, leaving clients feeling like they’re being sold products they don’t need or can’t understand.

It’s not just about being sold products, either. Some advisors charge exorbitant fees for managing your passive investments, while others push expensive life insurance policies that may not be appropriate for your situation. These one-size-fits-all approaches can be detrimental to your financial health and leave you feeling like you’re not getting the support you need.

Systems Thinking Approach to Personal Finance

By taking a systems approach to personal finance, we consider every aspect of your financial life, from your investments to your insurance to your taxes, to ensure that everything is working together to achieve your goals. This means identifying areas of strength and weakness and developing a plan that’s optimized for your specific situation.

With a holistic plan in place, you can have greater peace of mind and confidence in your financial future. So, if you’re ready to ditch the linear thinking and take a systems approach to your finances, let’s get started!

As an old engineer, I bring a unique perspective to the world of finance. By taking a systems approach, I’m able to help my clients achieve their financial goals in a way that’s tailored to their specific needs and brings performance-based results. Don’t let linear thinking hold you back from achieving financial freedom. Contact me today to get started! linktr.ee/lampfinancial

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Chukwudi Uraih, MBA

I am a systems thinker who thinks he is a data scientist who wants to help you get financially free.