It is true, investors can handle their investments and their retirement on their own. But this might not be a wise choice for the masses. The right financial advisor can help you invest your money wisely so you can live the life you want and avoid the retirement horror stories you may have heard.
As a para-planner who specializes in accounting performance monitoring and financial analytics with Global View Investment Advisors, I know the amount of time, energy and expertise it takes to avoid the unfortunate retirement horror stories we’ve all heard. There’s a lot to consider. Working with a financial advisory firm gives investors a safety net if you will; a team of people on their side who are dedicated to helping them reach the future they envision.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong or add unnecessary stress to your life when trying to be the expert yourself. Financial products, tax laws and the overall market and economy changing constantly, making it extremely difficult for someone outside the industry to stay abreast of all that is happening. You may hear of a market crash or a stock that “you have to invest in,” but having an insider in your corner can provide perspective, context and reasoning for why certain investments should or shouldn’t be made.
For example, while a stock might be a “must have,” if you’re working with a real financial fiduciary who has taken a holistic approach to creating your financial plan, your advisor can explain why it may not be a good fit for you. An advisor takes into account your risk tolerance, your personal retirement goals and the long-term outlook of your plan.
“Financial information” is everywhere, but if you listen closely, every advertisement and talk-show host recommends a different plan. It can be dangerous and a lot of work to follow a plan blindly, simply relying on what you’ve heard on a podcast, on TV or from a friend. Your financial freedom in retirement is not something to take lightly.
Many times, it was just one reactionary move that lead to one of the retirement horror stories you fear.
At Global View, we work as our clients’ financial advocate, providing insight and putting our clients’ best interests first. Our financial plans are designed as a personal roadmap to the life our clients want. If you have big goals and dreams, this step is not just important; it’s vital.
But remember, not all financial plans are created equal. The key to working with a financial advisor is finding the right one for you.
There are a lot of salespeople who are vying for your businesses and preying on your ignorance in the field. Investors should always find out an advisor’s conflicts of interest – who do they work for; are they paid by commission, meaning they have an incentive to recommend a certain product; what services do they provide; and do they have a team of professionals who specialize in other aspects of your financial plan, such as estate planning or taxes?
What is Financial Planning Anyway?
Financial planning is the gathering of information related to an individual’s financial well-being based on their individual specific needs and goals. A good, thorough, thought-out plan should address tax concerns, savings, retirement plans, financial security and, most importantly, a strategy to accomplish the goals set.
A financial advisor can help fill in any gaps that have been overlooked or create a plan from scratch. An advisor should also help create better spending habits that a client can follow so they can reach success.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
According to a recent study by Charles Schwab, participants who worked with a financial advisor had higher balances, more diversified portfolios and less exposure to individual stocks compared to those who didn’t.
Out of about 137,000 investors surveyed who have a plan they manage on their own, only 19 percent chose to work with a financial advisor. Those who did work with an advisor reported an average balance of $449,552, nearly twice as much as the $234,643 reported by non-advised participants.
Larger balances are not necessarily an indication that the portfolios of investors working with advisors are outperforming by that margin. However, it’s more likely that investors with higher balances were encouraged by their advisors to invest more. It’s also common for investors who work with an advisor to benefit from more diversified portfolios and less exposure to individual stocks. For example, according to the above study, investors who didn’t work with an advisor had significant exposure to two companies in particular, Apple and Amazon. In these cases, big hits to these companies equated to big hits for these investors.
A Plan of Action
Many advisory firms may create excellent financial plans, but they end up sitting on a shelf, unimplemented.
At Global View, we make sure our clients implement their plan. And we make sure to change it as it evolves. This is one of the main reasons investors hire us for ongoing investment advisory services. We use an initial plan to track progress and motivate clients to stay on track. As obstacles arise, we are able to modify a plan to get our clients back on track to achieving their goals.
This experience and expertise is hard to find on your own. In fact, we are able to run several scenarios to select the right strategy for a client’s specific needs.
A Team on Your Side
Another benefit to working with a firm like Global View is that clients are able to access not just their advisor but our team of professionals. For example, you can contact me directly here. Clients also have access to our Retirement Income Specialist Adam Wiles and our Wealth Planning Strategist Kurt Schumacher Jr. to name a few.
Working with a financial advisor can be very beneficial. Think about it – are you sure you want to handle the following concerns on your own?
- Outliving your assets
- Incurring avoidable permanent losses
- Leaving your spouse and family without the means for a happy retirement