The importance of a having a trusted advisor: Hire your own personal CFO.
As it is often pointed out to me, speaking to a financial advisor is an intimidating prospect for people. As much as I like joking around about it, there is a ton of truth to that.
There are many things about the industry that have turned people off…and also, some of the hardest words in the English dictionary to string together are “I need help.” Not to mention, some of the most taboo subjects to speak about are MONEY, sex, and drugs.
However, when you hear an owner of a growing business speak on the subject, they are extremely proud of accomplishments. It goes something like this: “Our business was growing at such a rate, and to ensure that we reached our goals, we felt it was best to hire a CFO.” Why isn’t it the same conversation when someone hires on a financial advisor? “Our family was growing together, and to ensure future success, we hired our very own CFO.”
That is essentially what you’re doing by finding yourself a trusted financial advisor. We can take on those responsibilities while you live your life and do the things that you remain passionate about.
We wear so many hats when it comes to being your financial advisor.
We are financial physicians, asking pertinent questions to make sure that we are diagnosing and prescribing based on your specific needs. We are personal trainers, continually pushing you to challenge yourself and better your future and current financial situations. We are psychologists, understanding how things work in your family to build a plan to best suit your personality and your preferences. We are psychiatrists as we help you to navigate the triumphs and tribulations of the stock market.
You have probably come across a financial advisor at networking events around town. As soon as people find out that they are in fact speaking to a financial advisor, they have the thought run through their head: “Who is this guy and what is he going to try to sell me?”
Any good advisor who is worth his weight in anything will run a practice that is service-centric, not product-centric. Yes, there will be products put in place to help you reach these goals, but it is not our endgame.
There is an idea out there that you need to have big money to start investing and to work with a financial advisor. In all honesty, the basis of any sound financial plan is the cash flow piece. Many people have difficulty accounting for 15-25% of their income on a monthly basis to put into a financial plan. It is completely normal. It is important that you have the strategy in place and have the discipline to follow it. I’m not saying you have to come to me with that 15-25% ready to be invested.
You can start a plan with as little as $50 per month. Just know that we, having your best interests in mind, will continually challenge you to bump that number by little bits at a time.
I know it may not feel like you are doing much good by investing these small amounts, but we have this thing called compounding interest. Even Ben Franklin called it “the 8th wonder of the world.”
Consider this: At a 7% compounding interest rate, your money doubles every ten years. If I were to say to you, “If you give me $100 today, I will give you $200 back 10 years from today. If you let it sit for 20 years, I will bring back $400; 30 years, $800….” What would you say? It sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? Now let’s think of this same concept, but how about I ask you for $100 per month? Can you see how this concept is how we move mountains, stone by stone?
There are other concerns that a financial advisor will help with. One is taxes. Many people aren’t aware of the tax strategies available to them. Sometimes it makes sense to pay them now; sometimes it makes sense to pay them later. There are even strategies that allow you to minimize or even eliminate taxes completely. Another concern is the education piece. You may have concerns about your kids’ education. Do you want to pay for your kids’ education? If so, how much will it cost, and what effect will it have on the financial plan as a whole? The statistics say it isn’t getting any cheaper. After all, they can borrow money for their education, but you cannot borrow money for your retirement.
What we often find is that a lot of people have different plans for the accumulation, distribution, and protection of their assets, set up at different times through different advisors, which leads to a lack of coordination. We want to see what we can do to close those coordination gaps.
At the end of the day, it’s not my job to tell you what’s important to you. I think that’s what turns many people off from the idea of visiting a financial advisor.
People expect to be slapped on the wrist for the planning they have or haven’t done. Really, it all starts with a conversation.
Let’s sit down and find out what’s important to you. From there, I will see what I can do to draw the road map from where you are to where you want to be.