The Do-Re-Mi of Money

facebooktwitterlinkedinby featherbookChapter 1 from my eBook- The Sound of Money™. The entire eBook may be downloaded from the home page.

Chapter 1- The Do-Re-Mi of Money

When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.”
“Do-Re-Mi,” The Sound of Music


It may surprise you that a great deal of music, which sounds very different on the surface, is organized using the 7 note scale which makes up the building blocks of music.


Many of you learned the names of these 7 notes when you were in school-

Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. Instrumentalists and singers who can play or sing these 7 notes can create an infinite variety of music which may include all music styles such as Jazz, Rock, Classical, or Pop.

These 7 notes reveal a deeper meaning of music, and they exist in dynamic relationship with each other to create a beautiful melody, a sweet harmony, or a hot, burning rhythm. Knowing these key 7 notes helps us to better engage in musical conversations, which ultimately leads to greater music understanding, an ability to share, and a refinement of our music-listening choices for greater listening pleasure.

Similarly, whatever type of financial decision you are struggling with, whether it is saving for retirement, funding college for a grandchild, or ensuring funding for long-term care for yourself or your parents, it might surprise you that financial decisions which sound very different from each other on the surface, are in fact organized using the same 7 financial notes.

How do people orchestrate the large quantity of financial combinations into sound financial decisions? In three simple steps:

Step 1 Organize your financial life: Turning Chaos into Harmony

Music is organized sound. Organization is key because without it, music is just noise. A guitarist organizes all the potential sound combinations through a system of scales, arpeggios and chords which are used to re-arrange the sound pallet. Now think about your financial life. Is it organized? Does it sound like music, or more like a cacophony?

To help people organize the many different aspects of their financial lives, I have encapsulated key issues of wealth into what I call MoneyCapsules®. You can think of them as the Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti –Do of money, or as I call it- The Sound of Money™.

These 7 MoneyCapsules® help organize our finances the way the scale system helps organize the billions of potential sound combinations into music. The process creates a MoneyCapsule for each of these financial notes. Let’s define each one:

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VALUES-Defines what’s most important to you. Values-based decisions make for a more meaningful life. What is most important to you now? Why? What do you need clarity on?
CASH-Is the life blood of your financial health. A healthy financial life requires that cash flow and cash reserve are properly balanced. Consider asking questions on how your specific life theme will affect CASH.
RETURN-It’s important to consider the total return on all your investments. Return is where you discover what matters most to you over the short or long-term and how market volatility affects your behavior. Consider asking questions on how your specific life theme will affect the
Return on all your investments.
TAX-The preservation of family wealth requires an integrated approach to managing taxes. Consider asking questions on how your specific life them will impact taxes.
RISK-Knowing when to self-manage or transfer unexpected life challenges to an insurance company is essential for good financial health. Consider asking questions on how your specific life theme will affect risk.
TIME-Time is the one resource which can never be replaced. Managing time-based goals & anticipated events effectively is important. Consider asking questions on how your specific life theme will affect your time horizon.
GIVING -Giving and receiving are powerful forces in our lives. Transferring wealth and values as part of a legacy is at the heart of Giving. Consider asking questions on how your specific life theme will affect Giving.


Here’s how some of these words could come in useful during a money conversation.

  • What are the things you value most?
    • Financial security?
    • Retiring early?
    • Putting your kids through college?
    • Travel?
    • How is your cash flow organized to help you understand it?
  • Is your income in harmony with your expenses?
  • What kind of return are you looking for on all your investments?

Step 2: Understand– if your financial life is in harmony with your values

Each individual’s financial life will have its own distinct sound based on the individual’s own unique combination of personal values. Understanding comes when you begin to not only organize your money into distinct financial notes, but also start to align them with the things you value most.

Step 3 Decide – by knowing which options will restore harmony.

Each person’s unique set of values—like the musician’s musical preference—should determine how and why they use their finances. A healthy financial life emerges when all of our financial decisions are a direct outflow of the things we value most.

For example, if you prioritize giving, you will choose to share your wealth and perhaps get involved in philanthropic projects. While someone who values a comfortable retirement will seek to maximize and build their wealth to ensure a financially secure future. An individual’s financial decisions should reflect their values, just as a musician’s musical style will reflect the way their instrument is played.

When you listen to music, you react to it emotionally. But underlying that music there is structure, and knowing that structure increases your listening pleasure. The 7 MoneyCapsules® take your needs and translate them into a solid structure helping you communicate your financial self with confidence and clarity.

So what does your financial life sound like — music, or haphazard noise?
Perhaps it is time to organize, understand and decide.



Written by Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman

Jaimie Blackman — a former music educator & retailer— is a Certified Wealth Strategist & Succession Planner. Jaimie helps business owners maximize the value of their company through education & coaching. He is a frequent speaker at the National Association of Music Merchants, (NAMM) Idea Center and has spoken at Yamaha’s succession advantage.

As a financial literacy educator he has taught at New York University and has lectured at the 92nd Street Y, Marymount Manhattan College and CUNY.

His column is published in The Music & Sound Retailer and contributes to NAMM U online, as well as other industry trade magazines.

Jaimie is CEO of Jaimie Blackman & Company, President of BH Wealth Management, and Creator of MoneyCapsules® and the Sound of Money®.

To register for Jaimie’s live webinars, or to subscribe to his podcasts, visit

The purpose of this post is to educate. Our content should not be construed as advice. If legal, tax or other advice is required by the readers, professional advice should be sought.

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