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The Three Filter Approach: Simplifying Major Financial Decisions

The Three-Filter Approach at planassist in florida USA

These three customized filters are intended to help you make financial decisions more quickly and with better results. These filters have been really helpful in helping me and my clients make aligned financial decisions.

The Three-Filter Approach include for Financial Decisions:

  1. Assessing the practicality of the investment or purchase.

  2. Understanding the emotional influence on the decision.

  3. Evaluating if the math makes sense.

It is the cumulative application of these filters, rather than any single one, that simplifies financial decisions. Let's delve into each filter individually and then explore their combined impact.




How practical is the investment or purchase? It's crucial to be brutally honest when applying this filter, as emotions can easily distort the assessment. For instance, contemplate whether buying a vacation condo, a car, a pool, a boat, or similar items aligns with your practical needs. The practicality of such purchases obviously varies from one person to another based on a range of factors. This principle applies to other investment decisions as well.




What role does emotion play in your decision? Emotions often oscillate between fear and euphoria, both of which can derail prudent financial decision-making. If not managed, emotions can dominate the other two filters. A classic example is the purchase of timeshares, where sellers are skilled at exploiting buyers' emotions. Other examples include emotionally driven car purchases or, the impulsive selling of long-term investments due to short-term market fluctuations or worrying economic news.




Does the math add up? To maintain discipline in answering this question, consider employing relevant financial rules of thumb and financial planning tools that illustrate the impact of decisions in one area on others. For example, when contemplating buying a car, you might apply the Financial Samurai's 1/10th Rule, which suggests that the purchase price of a vehicle should not exceed 1/10th of your gross annual income. This Rule applies regardless of whether the car is new or used. Comparable rules exist for investments, home purchases, debt management, etc. Identify and apply regulations that align with your financial philosophies.




In conclusion, while there's a scientific element to this process, it leans more towards art due to the personal judgment required for each situation and circumstance. Keep this strategy simple — it's designed to be straightforward. When faced with an investment opportunity or a significant purchase, consider these three areas: practicality, emotional influence, and mathematical sense. Employing these three filters will likely simplify the process of making big financial decisions. Perhaps, more importantly, it will expedite and ease the process of reaching an agreement on these decisions.






1. What is the Three-Filter Approach?

The Three-Filter Approach is a method designed to streamline the decision-making process for major financial decisions. It consists of three filters:

  • Assessing the practicality of the investment or purchase.

  • Understanding the emotional influence on the decision.

  • Evaluating if the math makes sense.


2. How can the Three-Filter Approach benefit me?

This method encourages you to take into account realistic demands, emotional effects, and economic reasoning in order to help you make more educated and aligned financial decisions. It seeks to offer a thorough perspective that strikes a balance between various factors, possibly producing superior results.


3. What does the Practicality filter involve?

When using the Practicality filter, you must evaluate a potential investment or purchase seriously in light of your needs and situation. It makes you think about whether a new automobile or a holiday condo really fits your long-term objectives and practical needs.


4. How do emotions affect financial decisions according to the Three-Filter Approach?

People's financial decisions can be significantly influenced by their emotions, which frequently lead to impulsive or fearful behavior. The Emotional Filter places a strong emphasis on identifying and controlling these emotions to keep them from overriding mathematical and practical factors.


5. What is the importance of the Mathematical filter?

The mathematical filter entails assessing a decision's financial viability. It advises understanding the effects of your choices and making sure they make sense financially by using planning tools and general financial guidelines.


6. Can I apply the Three-Filter Approach to any financial decision?

Yes, this approach is versatile, and it is applicable to many financial decisions, from significant purchases like homes and cars to investment opportunities and debt management.


7. How do I manage the emotional aspect of financial decisions?

Being conscious of how emotions like excitement or anxiety could impair your judgment is part of managing your feelings. Taking a step back, speaking with a reliable advisor, or giving yourself some quiet time to think things through can all be beneficial.


8. Are there specific rules of thumb mentioned in the approach?

Yes, the strategy refers to using pertinent financial heuristics, like the Financial Samurai's 1/10th Rule, which advises against buying a car that costs more than 1/10th of your gross annual income. Depending on the choice at hand, these guidelines may change.


9. How do the three filters work together?

Each filter offers a unique viewpoint on a choice, and they are meant to be used in tandem. Making financial judgments that are more well-rounded and well-informed can be achieved by combining mathematical reasoning, emotional resonance, and practicality.


10. Is the Three-Filter Approach foolproof?

Although the Three-Filter Approach can be beneficial when making financial decisions, none of the techniques are infallible. A lot depends on conditions and one's own judgment. Therefore, it's more of an art than a science. It is not about ensuring flawless results but rather streamlining and optimizing decision-making.

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DISCLOSURE - All written content on this article is for information purposes only. We utilized ChatGPT and other sources for this article. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Core Wealth Consultants. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources, however, we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. Core Wealth Consultants, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor in the States of Florida, Indiana and Michigan. You should always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. Diversification and asset allocation does not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.

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