“Financial Planning” has developed a diluted meaning, in our opinion, to the extent that it often creates a myriad of connotations to different people. With such a large amount of strategies, solutions, and ideas out there today, how do you know you are receiving the advice truly designed for your unique situation? As wealth planners, we’re often asked how the stock market is doing today, what mutual funds we recommend, etc. As important as those questions can seem, we see financial planning working within the areas of life that you CAN control to ultimately achieve the results you want.
Perhaps you should be asking these questions instead:
- Is financial planning a conversation with an adviser about your tolerance for investment risk or desired rate of return
followed by the adviser’s recommendation on how to build your investment portfolio?
- Is financial planning a conversation with your adviser about your current situation followed by a recommendation to buy certain investments and/or insurance products sold by the adviser?
- Is financial planning a continual and dynamic process of understanding where you are today and where you want to go? Is it supported by deep analysis to develop, prioritize and implement an overall strategy to meet your lifetime goals? Does this process contemplate income taxes, identify risks you face, consider your legacy desires, all while focusing on your family values and vision?
To us, ongoing financial planning is the tie that connects your resources (the area where you don’t always have complete control) with your ever-changing short and long-term financial dreams (what the money is there to support in the first place!).
We don’t view life as a sprint, but instead a marathon. In life’s marathon, there will be brief uphill challenges that will damage our marathon time. However, those stints are often followed by downhill runs which then help the overall marathon time. These are both short-term events that are often out of our control, but we must continue to stay focused on the ultimate goal of completing the race.
The next time you are thinking about financial planning, just remember that you deserve so much more than advice that revolves solely around investments or financial products (which are only one piece of your bigger puzzle). We believe a comprehensive approach of planning and investment solutions is the most effective approach to helping you achieve what’s most important to you.
Let’s start a conversation about wealth management that’s focused on the long haul and ultimately what is more important to you.
Published: June 26, 2015
Authored by: Terry Prather, CFP®, ChFC®
Direct Phone: 812-602-6307
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