A few years ago, I wrote a piece for our blog at PDS Planning, Inc. about how to fire your financial advisor. It was really great for business development! I narrowed it down to three things that must be present in order to be capable of doing your own financial planning. I would never tell someone that what I do for a living cannot be done on their own if they want to pursue that. Simply stated, those three factors are:
- You must have the desire to do it on your own. Desire is often a function of time. Make no mistake, this will at times be time-consuming so you must want to do it. For business owners, this is often the greatest challenge. The time spent on your financial plan could be more valuable to you when used in your own business, or leisure time with your family.
- You must have a little financial acumen. A basic understanding of financial concepts, coupled with the vast resources now available to the average person will go a long way. The less you know, the more you will have to research. There’s that pesky #1 again…time. The more you know, the more you may choose to research. It’s a vicious cycle!
- You must be unemotional in your decision-making. Can you divorce yourself from the doubts that may naturally creep into your mind the first time the market drops by 20%? Most individuals are loss-averse, often suggesting that the loss of money feels twice as bad as how good it feels to make money. If you are emotional, this could cost you dearly over time.
Most folks I meet typically have 2 of the 3 skills to pull this off. Most often lacking is the unemotional part. Many say they can make calculated decisions, but that’s easier said than done. The next most common item missing is time. We’re all pressed for time because we are tethered to work through our phones. Additionally, there is a burdensome amount of information available that one must properly filter in order to research their questions.
It’s not easy, but I promise it can be done. And my mission is to provide you with WealthAdviceMadeSimple.