It has been my experience over the past 32 years in the financial services industry that many busy people, no matter how well educated or financially sophisticated, do not have the time or inclination to effectively manage all of their financial affairs.
Most people today are too busy keeping up with the changes in their own specialized areas to remain current with the ever-changing financial services industry. To prepare a financial plan with the same attention to detail as that of a professional advisor would just take too much time and research. This would be time away from your personal life, occupation, business or civic responsibilities.
If your financial situation is being monitored by a competent financial advisor, you can be assured that your “financial house” is in order. Your time and attention can be focused on effective management of your business and pursuing your personal interests.
CONFIRMING FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES ARE BEING MET
Many people currently have several advisors in place that provide advice only within their own area of expertise. For example, the broker may be an expert picking stocks and bonds, but without access to information concerning your total financial situation may not be able to provide the proper advice with respect to how to register those assets for estate planning purposes.
Your accountant may be doing an excellent job of tax preparation, but may not be able to help you re-position assets so as to reduce next year’s taxes.
A professional financial advisor is certainly not intended to replace any of your existing advisors with whom you now have a satisfactory relationship. However, by evaluating your total financial situation, a qualified financial advisor can coordinate strategies that do not interfere with any of your stated goals and objectives. By focusing on the whole, rather than on a part, this advisor can make recommendations that are consistent with your long term financial strategy.
We live in a society that is very record dependent. This includes tax returns, estate documents, current and prior employment statements, investment and insurance reports, purchase and sale receipts and many others. When we start the planning process together one aspect is gathering and examining all these documents. We will help you in keeping them organized and immediately available when needed.
MONITORING YOUR IMPLEMENTATION
A financial plan that is not implemented becomes merely an educational experience. Worse than that, you have become aware of your financial problems but have not taken action to solve them. Your stated goals and objectives can never be met without putting the plan into action. Follow-through is critical!
A competent financial advisor will ensure that all phases of your plan are properly implemented by your selected agents, not only in terms of the types and categories of investments, but with respect to estate, tax, and retirement planning. All the areas of risk assessment are important, since one overlooked exposure could wipe out the rewards of years of work and saving.
REVIEWING FREQUENTLY TO REMAIN ON SCHEDULE
Your planning is a dynamic process and should be reviewed on a continuing basis to verify that your goals are being met and that you are remaining on your financial schedule. Since “nothing is as constant as change itself” your goals, attitudes toward financial risks and family circumstances will change.
Even if we as individuals were to remain the same, the financial world around us changes so frequently that constant monitoring is a necessary part of the planning process. The political, tax, legislative and economic changes increase in frequency.
The on-going review and reporting also holds the planning firm accountable to you — the client. Periodic reviews also ensure that any necessary adjustments are made before it is too late.
But regardless of scheduled sessions, your advisor should always be available and welcome your e-mails or phone calls.
PROVIDING PEACE OF MIND
Many people have expressed the sentiment that the planning process has made them much more comfortable with their financial situations — their financial questions and concerns have been resolved.
Dealing with a financial advisor will give the peace of mind knowing that your financial situations are being handled by a full-time professional who is monitoring the changing financial situation, is dedicated to your financial needs and who is in constant pursuit of helping you achieve your goals.