What are your goals? If you’re like many Americans, it’s to work hard, buy a house, and enjoy a nice retirement. But how do you get there? Managing your investment decisions while juggling your daily life can be overwhelming and time-consuming. The do-it-yourself investing platforms that have become popular in recent years make investing seem simple by promoting low-cost, passive indexing products. But when markets begin to fall, are you comfortable with the losses you may face? What about the aspects of your financial wellbeing beyond investment management? This is where a financial advisor can add value.
Why You Need A Valuable Financial Advisor
The value of an advisor comes from the comprehensive financial planning services provided beyond investment advice. Your financial advisor should be your wealth coach, helping you determine your goals and the level of risk you are willing to take to achieve them. When markets get rocky, your financial advisor should be there to help you navigate the turbulence and stay the course of your investment plan or help you reevaluate your plan. Your financial advisor should also work with your tax and legal advisors to ensure that your plan reduces your taxes and covers your estate and philanthropic goals. Your future healthcare needs should also be part of your comprehensive financial plan.
Keeping You on Track for Retirement
Do you know how much money to need to maintain your lifestyle when you retire? One of the most important services your financial advisor will provide is retirement planning. Your advisor understands how much you need to invest to achieve your goals and will be there to guide you.
More Than Just Investing Advice
Financial advisors do more than just pick stocks, they help ensure your portfolios are properly allocated and rebalance your investments regularly. They will also help you navigate income withdrawals from your investments when you retire. Many can help with tax planning or work with someone who can provide those services for you. Your advisor will also help you work with an estate attorney to ensure your affairs are in order for your family. Do you know how to navigate the costs of long-term care? Your advisor can help you plan for expensive healthcare services you may need as you age.
Take the Emotion Out of Investing
A financial advisor can provide an outsider’s perspective on your wealth situation. You have an emotional interest in your finances and having an objective third-party’s input can be very valuable. Do you remember the feeling in your gut when you saw the drastic drop of the stock market during the 2020 CoronaCrash? Did you cave to the urge to pull your money from your investments to protect your wealth? Working with a financial advisor will help you choose an investment plan within your specific loss tolerance to help you avoid that feeling in the future. And if you feel the need to hit the panic button, your advisor will be there to coach you through it.
You Don’t Have the Time
Are you working full-time, juggling the needs of your family, trying to make time to eat right and workout, and maintain some semblance of a social life? Do you have the hours you need to devote to properly research your investment options on a regular basis? If the answer is no, don’t feel bad. That’s what the professionals are here for! We enlist professional help in so many other aspects of our life – haircuts, landscaping, personal trainers – doesn’t our financial future deserve as much if not more expert attention?
What to Expect When Meeting a Financial Advisor
If you have never met with an advisor before, a great way to find one is to ask around. If your friends or family members find value from their advisor, they will be happy to make the recommendation. Remember, you don’t have to work with the first advisor you meet. Make sure you find someone you’re comfortable with and can help your individual needs. Here are a few questions you should ask:
- What are your qualifications? Ask about educational background, specialized certifications, etc.
- How long have you been an advisor?
- What is your typical account size?
- Can you provide me with three clients as references?
- How do you charge for your services?
- How often do you evaluate my financial situation and provide updates?
After your introductory meeting and you’ve chosen your advisor, you will have another meeting to discuss your current financial situation. Be prepared to discuss your complete financial picture including your assets, expenses, investments, and income sources. Then you and your advisor will get started working on your unique plan so you can be on your way to reaching your life and wealth goals. The value of working with an advisor will be with you for years to come.