“He who fails to plan is planning to fail”
There are two ways in life to achieve success: Incredibly Good Luck, and Incredibly Good Planning. While most of us don’t have incredibly good luck, all of us can make the effort to plan. With that said, it’s never too early, or too late, to begin thinking about your financial future.
Establishing a solid financial plan now will help you map out your future, account for unexpected events, and make educated financial decisions as situations arise. Whether you are planning for college, a wedding, the purchase of property, the addition of a new family member or retirement, a plan will help guide you along the path. A plan will help you navigate the twists and turns in the road, and overcome any obstacles encountered along the way. We can’t predict the future, but we can do our best to be prepared for whatever the future may hold.
Perhaps you have already encountered an unexpected event that you didn’t have a plan in place for. In other words, you learned the lesson the hard way. Unfortunately, many of us have, particularly in the past several years as the economy plummeted. Take advantage of this opportunity to take a hard look at where you are and where you want to go from here. You may find your priorities have shifted, and your need for a sound and realistic financial plan may be greater than ever.
Whatever your circumstances are, the importance of establishing a solid financial plan is clear. However, the thought of doing so may be intimidating and confusing. The wealth of information available to us at our fingertips is vast, yet how do we wade through it all to determine which options make the most sense for our personal and unique situations and objectives? Once we have a grasp of these objectives, how do we put our plan into motion? And lastly, who has the time to conduct the required research, review the solutions best for you, establish the plan and then act on it?
It doesn’t have to be complicated, confusing or time consuming. There are individuals that have expertise in financial planning. We often consult experts for advice in areas in which we are unfamiliar, from relationships to career paths. Why not do so with our money?
Your first step along the path of financial planning is consulting with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can provide objective advice and offer solutions that are tailored to your needs. He or she will take into account your age, family dynamics, short and long-term goals (e.g., education, home ownership, travel, career, retirement, etc.), aversion to risk, and any other objectives you have in mind. This individual will also work with you over time as your situation changes and the twists, turns, and obstacles pop up.
Their goal will be to present you with the best options available given your unique situation.
There are multiple ways you can choose to invest your money while allocating a portion for personal, daily use. The key is to finding a financial organization that has representatives who are knowledgeable of all of the options available to you and have worked with clients in all stages of their lives.
Chances are that you will find that once you’ve met with a financial advisor, you’ll have greater peace of mind. You may even wonder why you ever had any concerns or hesitations to begin with.
Here is a list of services and products that a financial advisor can discuss with you:
• Checking Account
• Savings Account
• Debit Card
• Credit Card
• Personal Loans (Home, Home Improvement, Auto, Education, etc.)
• Business Loans
• Investment Accounts (401K, IRA, CDs, etc.)
One last thought… before turning over so much of your important personal information to a financial planner, do your research. Get the details on your planner’s education and experience level. Visit their place of business – do NOT do business with someone who only has a post office box and an answering service. Beware of too much razzle-dazzle and unrealistic promises of return on investment. Make sure that the financial planner you are using is correctly registered with the state where you live. Ask tough questions. How will they work to keep you on track? Also, make sure you understand how they are compensated for their work. Are they being paid by you, or by the company representing the products that they are selling?
A good financial plan can be an amazing comfort in an uncertain world. In fact, there are some who would say that a good plan well executed is your best chance of financial success in life. The rest is up to you.