My love/hate relationship with financial planning
It’s not that I don’t think that planning today isn’t extremely crucial for tomorrow’s success. I do, but I dislike how our industry as a whole goes about the process and how much they charge for it.
Trust me; I used to be part of the problem. You get the client’s information, which begins with a painstaking process of accumulating all expenses ranging from utilities to cable, statements of debt, insurance premiums, and so on. It is a gamble to project what the future costs will be, not to mention, whether these will be viable services by then, as well.
Great! Now we have accumulated a ton of information that we will process into only a 30 page report that very specifically guesses cash flows, assumed interest rates, and projected market returns. What could go wrong, right?
What’s more is that this report comes with a cost, and rightfully so, considering the time it takes to put it together by the advisor. Every advisor will charge different rates, but a common industry cost is $1,000 per plan, which may be an annual fee if the client wants ongoing planning. Investment costs are generally separate, as well.
What I believe in
Never lose sight of the big picture. Sure, you need certain data points to lay the foundation today, but not to the detriment of tomorrow’s success. The time and costs incurred by this plan or “guestimate” could much better be spent investing and paying off debt that could put you in a better financial position NOW.
What is your greatest financial fear? Is it running out of money in retirement, over paying Uncle Sam, or taking care of your family if something happens to you? Let’s start with solving this and work from there.
Solving fears can also intertwine with investment strategies, as I emphasize having two portfolios. One is the more conservative “rainy day” portfolio. This is for the day when the heater goes, car quits, or a corporate downsizing that leaves you without the steady paycheck. Having the appropriate investment AND amount allocated to this portfolio is equally crucial.
The second portfolio is the long term, higher potential returning one. Whether this portfolio is a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or non-retirement account will depend on everyone’s own situation.
Most of my financial plans are included in my investment management fee, which ranges from .6%-1.2%, depending on the amount of assets in an account. If a client wants financial planning and a meeting every six months, it is $250 to help cover the time and costs of the semi-annual plan.
Should we work together?
Considering the time and thought spent on each account, it is impossible to work with everyone, but I am looking to partner with the right people. I currently do not have an account minimum, but base more importance on personality compatibility and working with people that are serious about investing for the good life. If you think that we may be a fit, please reach out. Hope to hear from you soon.