Someone once asked me that if I was any good as a financial adviser, why was I working as one and not simply making my money by managing my own investments? I thought to myself, that’s an interesting yet naive question.
So I decided to list 31 things good financial advisers will do for their clients, and why you need one. Here it goes:
- Takes as much time as necessary to genuinely understand where you are now, where you want to go, what help you need/want, and most most importantly, why.
- Helps define your goals, aspirations, desires, and fears.
- Understands what ‘truly wealthy’ means to you (because money is simply a means to an end).
- Thoroughly reviews your current position, then studies and analyses multiple scenarios/strategies to help enhance your current and future position.
- Will create an initial plan, which is simply a starting point, and make adjustments along the way to help support your goals.
- Helps makes wise choices about cash flow, management of debt, education funding, tax efficiency, personal insurance, estate planning, and investments.
- Puts in place strategy and structure to help achieve your future goals.
- Will explore all asset classes to help achieve your goals.
- Not only manages investments, but also manages investors.
- Helps you decide how, where, and when to invest.
- Helps match your balance sheet to your life.
- Will measure your performance not to an index, rather, to your personal goals.
- Helps you make better decisions with your money in the face of uncertainty and fear.
- Arms you with information to help you make better decisions.
- Helps reduce the uncertainty and anxiety that comes from making important financial decisions with your money.
- Stays on top of economic, market, and legislative changes so you don’t have to.
- Proactively keeps in touch with you.
- Liaises with your other professionals, and co-ordinates your banking, personal insurance, and estate planning with specialists.
- Gives you back time so that you can spend it on more important things in your life.
- Advises on the optimal mix of investments for you so that you can maximise your rate of return for a given level of risk.
- Monitors and oversees your investments.
- Maintains financial records on your behalf, such as tax reports, cost basis information, wills, and legal documents (basically your financial life).
- Acts as your sounding board.
- Is the ‘middleman’ between you and stupid.
- Provides as unemotional and unbiased point of view.
- Has your back.
- Is honest with you – they’ll tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
- Introduces you to the right people.
- Helps consolidate and streamline your affairs.
- Shares experiences of many other clients who have faced or are facing circumstances similar to yours.
- Get’s shit done (because you probably won’t).
It’s always simpler to do nothing. Chasing something you want is hard work – I guess that’s why not everyone gets what they want in the end. Personal finances are easy, right? Wrong. On our own, most of us lack clarity and objectivity, we get stuck in our own heads, we make emotional and careless decisions. We’re most likely busy doing other things in our lives, and we don’t have the information, resources, or time to sit down and dedicate thought, energy, and focus that personal finances take to make great decisions over the long-term.
Engaging an experienced and professional adviser to help you create your own personal financial blue print and game plan will help you understand your current position – your status quo, and more importantly what you need to do to get to where you want to go.
Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t be doing.
– Ray Dalio
I’m curious. If money is the vehicle, what’s the destination?