This is an important question. There are so many great tools for those people who want to handle their own investing and financial planning.
What we’ve found though, is that many people have a tough time implementing their plan consistently. While they may be able to research a great fund, or do their own taxes, the key is bringing all the pieces of your financial life together. Taxes, insurance, employee benefits, investments, cash flow and retirement planning, estate planning, and now even credit reports, and so much more.
Whether our clients are raising children or planning retirement, that’s where real financial security and wealth creation happens, a few small but strategic steps over and over again, over many years.
The reason our clients choose to work with us and pay for our services – is because there is a lot to learn. And the cost of making a mistake is high. What if you didn’t save enough to cover for inflation before and during retirement? How do you know if you’re really saving enough? Or if you’ve saved enough? Should you work another year? Or more?
What if you pay off your mortgage at retirement with your 401k and you end up running out of money and you have to sell your house anyways? When is the right time to sell during a market correction? Or is there a right time? When should I take social security? When should I downsize? Or should I buy more company stock?
All these questions might have their own separate isolated answer, but how do you weave together all the pieces of your financial life to provide perspective on each of those decisions.
There is no one size fits all answer and it’s hard to google your way to financial security. Our clients choose us because they don’t want to get it wrong. They want a partner they can trust.
One way to look at it is to ask yourself if you think it’s possible that you’ll have more money or a bigger nest egg or net worth by having a financial professional involved – even after paying the advisory fee. In many cases, we find our clients are paying a lot in fees already (like in 401ks) – even without a real financial planner involved.
Our position is this…
If what we do for our clients is make sure they do the things they say they want to - like save what they need to save, spend what they need to spend, and invest when they need to invest – how much is that worth to them?
Between taxes, investments, legal issues with estate planning; not to mention just priority setting and having a clear vision of the future – there’s a lot to know and to keep organized and on track. And it takes a lot of time. We think the cost of getting it wrong is high, and our clients must agree. Some of our relationships go back over 20 years, and we deeply value these long-term relationships and the level of trust and respect afforded to us.