With dodgy service providers looking to take advantage of poor, unsuspecting victims, and the internet able to provide information at the click of a button, it can be tempting to take the matter of your financial planning into your own hands. While the prospect may seem inviting, there are a couple of things you should probably consider before choosing this path.
1. The Learning Curve
The financial services industry is a complex one, with numerous aspects to examine. If you are not someone who enjoys numbers or reading about investing, stocks, and finance, then keeping up-to-date on things like changes in the industry, or an investment fund’s growth is going to prove rather difficult. Financial advisors, on the other hand, are people who are entrenched in the industry, continually keeping up with any new laws and market changes. They have been trained to assess and calculate your financial needs using specific tools, recommending funds based on your personal preferences. Because of their insights, they can really help improve the quality of your decisions.
2. Information Overload
The financial industry operates in a tightly regulated environment, filled with an overwhelming number of service providers all clamoring for your attention. Knowing which provider or product to choose requires extensive research and attention to detail. People need to be especially wary of the fine print and services that don’t add value. Financial advisors are tasked to make this mass of information more digestible and to communicate it in a manner that makes sense to you.
We all know that life can get busy and we are easily distracted. Unless it is something that we are absolutely passionate about, we as humans, tend to put things off and procrastinate. A financial advisor is not only someone who provides you with information and advice but is also someone who holds you accountable for your spending habits and financial recklessness. Financial advisors are obligated to meet with you on an annual basis, meaning you have someone who is constantly checking in on you to ensure that all your financial goals are aligned and to help you when things don’t go according to plan.
4. Tax Planning
Although a financial advisor is not necessarily a tax practitioner, there are a few out there who have a fairly well-rounded tax knowledge. With the right advisor, you can structure your finances in such a way that they are tax-efficient.
5. A Tailor-Made Plan
There is no one-size-fits-all in life, and the same can be said with personal finance. Financial advisors have been trained to synthesis the information you give them and come up with a strategy specific to you and the goals that you are trying to achieve, like saving for your child’s education or ensuring you have enough money to retire.
Seeking the advice of a financial advisor shouldn’t be seen as a taboo thing or something that only the super-wealthy do. A financial advisor is someone who is there to help guide you and provide you with a degree of comfort. They are there to help validate the decisions you make and to ensure that your spending habits are aligned with your financial goals.
Article reposted with permission from the Money Matters blog.