By Michael Gold, CFP®, MBA
Money can cause a lot of stress even on a good day. Throw in a global pandemic and you’ve got people losing sleep left and right. Pre-coronavirus, almost 50% of Americans were worrying about being financially comfortable in retirement and 46% were saying they will not have enough money in their retirement years. (1) Now the stats show that 41% of Americans don’t even know if they have enough money saved to get through this financial crisis and 90% of people are anxious about finances right now. (2) Those aren’t good numbers.
Thankfully, there is something you can do about it. Proactive wealth management and financial planning can make a world of difference when it comes to your future and your stress levels. Many Americans do not know where to turn for financial advice and support. In fact 64% have never sought financial advice from a professional, (3) but that does not have to be you. If you have never worked with a wealth advisor before, here is why you should change that ASAP!
The first and most important thing for you to completely understand is what an advisor cannot do for you. An advisor cannot forecast the economy or the markets over the next quarter, year or whatever time frame, because no one can do this consistently. Additionally, an advisor cannot time the stock market, again because no one can do this consistently. Lastly, an advisor cannot predict if a fund, stock, ETF or money manager will outperform their peers based on past performance as past performance is not indicative of future results.
Many people believe that a financial or wealth advisor is only there to help their investments and retirement accounts grow. While that’s part of their job, the value advisors add to your life goes much further. Studies show that those who work with an advisor are more likely to feel less stressed, have more confidence in their savings, be more knowledgeable about their opportunities and have more awareness of their spending habits. (4) Here are a few other ways working with a financial advisor can add value to your life and your finances:
Many advisors are trained and have the experience to handle your finances. They also have the ability and time to dig deep into your investments, taxes, estate and insurance, working with you to create a customized plan and portfolio to help position you to reach your goals. Advisors help you maintain your focus on your goals while navigating through unstable markets. Wealth advisors can help diversify your portfolio appropriately and rebalance it when needed, but also work to minimize taxes and avoid unnecessary fees.
We all know the markets can be volatile, but it is how you handle the roller coaster of ups and downs that makes the difference. Did you know that the number-one reason for portfolio underperformance is emotional decision-making? (5) It is natural to panic when you read the headlines, but acting on your emotions will only put your financial plan in jeopardy. Working with a trusted, independent wealth advisor who understands that investor behavior is the key determinant of financial success can help you strive for higher returns by avoiding mistakes. They can help you keep your eyes on your long-term goals and stick to your strategy when the going gets rough.
You probably have a few more dreams than just retiring but how do you balance short-term financial needs while saving for retirement and still build a fulfilling life? Wealth advisors have the knowledge, experience, and tools to dig deep into various aspects of your life to build a plan that reflects your goals, personality, values and life circumstances. A cookie-cutter plan may help you with some things, but a tailored plan will put you on a path to living the life you want.
It is no surprise that life is unpredictable, and this unpredictability can often lead to worry and uncertainty. Working with a wealth advisor provides a one-on-one, long-term relationship with someone who works in your best interest. No matter what changes you walk through, you can be assured that someone is acting as your advocate and financial mentor. Plus, an experienced wealth advisor can give you insight and perspective on the things you need to think through or prepare for. For instance, over the past 20 years in my career, I have advised countless clients, many of whom have walked through similar situations you might be facing. These situations run the gamut: preparing for retirement, creating an income and distribution strategy so they don’t outlive their money, dealing with the emotional toll and financial impact of losing a spouse or parent, divorce, marriage, remarriage, the birth of children/grandchildren, selling a business or buying a business, downsizing/upsizing homes, refinancing debt obligations, losing a job and/or starting a new one, and much more. This extensive experience helps me have a much better understanding of what lies before you. An experienced advisor will ask you questions that you would never think of on your own—and offer solutions that you didn’t even know were possible.
If your financial situation requires services or products that are unique or complex, your advisor can bring in specialists who can help you implement custom insurance, estate, debt refinancing or tax planning. In this way, they look for gaps in your plan, ensuring every aspect of your financial life is working together toward a common goal. What this means to you, is that you can sleep at night knowing you have your financial bases covered.
Whether you are sticking to a workout plan, achieving goals or starting a business, it has been proven time and again that accountability is a powerful indicator of success. A wealth advisor who holds you accountable will help you maintain focus when life gets distracting and provide you the encouragement necessary to keep you going when things get difficult. They will be your guiding light, your most rigorous coach and your greatest cheerleader. Sometimes just knowing that there is someone else out there who knows your goals and will ask about your progress is enough to keep you from overspending or getting lax about your saving.
When it comes to finances, many people find themselves in uncharted territory and do not know where to begin. If you have ever asked yourself any of the following questions it is most likely a good idea to speak with a wealth advisor:
Having someone help you live a more dignified and fulfilling life is incredibly valuable. A wealth advisor can be instrumental in taking care of the details and helping you find confidence in your financial future. At Gold Family Wealth, LLC, our mission is to be someone you can always rely on, someone who looks out for your best interests and partners with you as you walk through life. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 303-2533 to schedule a complimentary consultation and start taking control of your finances!
Michael Gold is the founder, president, and CEO of Gold Family Wealth, an independent wealth management boutique and named one of the Top 100 People in Finance. Michael has 20 years of experience in the financial industry and has a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the State University of New York College at Oneonta, an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, specializing in Quantitative Finance and Leadership and his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) credential. He serves business owners and entrepreneurs by stress-testing their financial plan to identify red flags and missed opportunities. Michael strategically outsources professional experts from various fields, such as tax, insurance, retirement and trust, and estate law to collaborate on potential solutions to help position his clients to achieve their desired goals.
Michael currently lives in Westport, CT. When he is not working, you can find him spending time with his wife, Giselle, their three children, Sebastian, Aria, and Pierce, and their dog, Charly. To learn more about Michael, connect with him on LinkedIn.
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Gold Family Wealth, LLC), or any non-investment related content made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Gold Family Wealth, LLC. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Gold Family Wealth, LLC is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Gold Family Wealth, LLC’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. If you are an Gold Family Wealth, LLC client, please remember to contact Gold Family Wealth, LLC, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services.
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Stress Testing: Are you 100 percent sure everything in your financial and wealth plans will deliver as promised?