We all need help managing our personal affairs. We need help in our homes, for repair or maintenance projects, on our vehicles, and during tax season. And like many DIY-minded individuals, some choose to manage their own financial affairs. While it may seem like a money-saving move, research by the National Financial Education Council has found that a lack of personal finance expertise actually costs the average American $1,200 each year.
Are Financial Advisors Only for the Rich?
A common misconception is that only people with vast wealth are served by hiring professionals to manage their personal finances. In truth, the right advisor can offer invaluable help to people of more modest means. The traditional fee structure for financial advice is often flexible in order to accommodate those who are not “wealthy.” If you have achieved a level of financial success, but you know you could be doing more, hiring an advisor could be the necessary step that leads to reaching, and potentially exceeding your goals.
Can’t I Just Google It?
As with anything you search for on the web, it is almost never a shortage of information, but the application and implementation of said information. Sure, you can learn a certain amount online through, for example, articles such as this, or even TED Talks and YouTube videos. The problem with the internet is that there may be too much information – some not relevant to your situation. None of this information you dig up will be customized for your individual needs, Dave Grant, founder and financial planner for Retirement Matters, Inc. told The Street.
“While this may work, many solutions are generic and don’t take into consideration personal situations that only an advisor can design around,” he said.
The Information Changes a Lot
While you may think you have a current handle on your finances, understand that it’s an ever-changing landscape. Tax codes change, as do health insurance regulations, rules surrounding retirement accounts and college savings plans, and estate planning regulations. What worked for you at 30 probably isn’t going to work for you at 50. With a DIY approach, you may not be uncovering the most relevant and up-to-date information regarding your financial planning, which can lead to expensive mistakes.
Where Do I Start with An Advisor?
For starters, you need to outline your financial goals so you know where to turn for the most appropriate help. Are you a millennial achieving a high level of success for the first time in your career? Maybe you’re a Baby Boomer on the brink of retirement and you want to make sure you are on top of all the moving pieces life now presents. Every household presents different circumstances. That’s why it is important you do not hold back when you meet with an advisor. The more information you provide, the more detailed your advisors’ presentation will be.
Are All Advisors the Same?
It is important for consumers to understand that advisory firms have different business models. There are firms that operate under the broker-dealer model, captive firms that offer solutions from one line of products, independent RIA/Hybrid RIA models, etc. This may have an impact on the products and services an advisor can offer, so be sure to inquire about the advisor and the firm you’re engaging with.
At Toomey Investment Management, Inc., we are a dual registered, Independent RIA. This means that we retain the independence and flexibility to associate with a number of broker-dealers/custodians to can offer a range of products or services. We believe our business model best enables our comprehensive and objective approach as financial fiduciaries. If you feel like we would be a great match for you and your family, please call us at 203-949-1710 or visit our website for more information.