Do you cut your own hair? If you’re like most people, you don’t. Why not? Is it because you can’t hold a pair of scissors? Probably not. Or is it because you know that a professional stylist will do such a better job than you could that they are worth the fee they charge? You don’t hesitate to hire a hair stylist because you understand the value they provide.
What about your money? Do you manage all of that yourself? Fewer and fewer people are. According to a survey by the CFP board, from 2010 to 2015, the percentage of people working with a financial advisor has increased from 28% to 40%. Maybe they’re onto something. Could those people have discovered the incredible value that a financial advisor provides?
You can tell in one glance if a haircut looks good or not. With financial advice, it’s not quite so obvious. There are a lot of factors and areas where the value isn’t even quantifiable. Let’s take a look at what a financial advisor provides for you.
Often when it comes to finances and investing, people don’t know where to begin. They don’t even know enough to realize what they don’t know. Especially when heading into retirement, which is complicated, completely uncharted territory.
An experienced financial advisor can give you insight into things you need to think through or prepare for. Having worked with countless clients who have walked your same path before you, your advisor will have a better understanding of what lies before you. They can ask you questions that you would never think of on your own and can offer solutions that you didn’t even know were possible.
While there is a lot that you can learn about finance and investing from books and online, it doesn’t come close to the technical education that a real financial advisor has. I hold both the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Chartered Financial Consultant®designations. Those two combined represent 9 graduate level courses beyond my Bachelor’s degree. That amount of technical education leads to an expertise unmatched by any person just trying to invest in their spare time.
More than technical knowledge, financial advisors are ripe with experience. No matter how great, a college course cannot compare with years of walking hand in hand with hundreds of clients through their financial journeys.
No two client experiences are the same, so financial advisors get to see and experience every facet possible of personal finance. This is what enables them to anticipate your needs and analyze various possible scenarios to develop the best financial plan for your unique situation.
A study by John Hancock Retirement Plan Services in 2015 found that 70% of people who work with a financial advisor are on track or ahead in saving for retirement, compared with 33% of those who do not work with a professional. Does working with an advisor give you more disposable income? No, rather it provides you with accountability.
Whether it’s for weight loss, achieving goals, or starting a business, it’s been proven time and again that having accountability is a powerful thing. A financial advisor who holds you accountable will help you maintain focus when life gets distracting and provide you the encouragement necessary to keep going when things get difficult. They will be your most rigorous coach and your greatest cheerleader. Sometimes, just knowing that there is someone else out there who knows your goals and will ask about your progress is enough to keep you from overspending or getting lax about your saving.
We, as humans, are emotional beings. The more important something is to us, often the more emotions we have tied to it. Money is very important to most people and can elicit an amazing array of emotions. Especially when markets are unstable or there is family drama, it is easy to make emotional decisions with our money.
Unfortunately, emotional financial decisions are not usually wise ones. An empathetic financial advisor will recognize how your emotions affect you and be your voice of reason. They will be an anchor for you during turbulent times, not letting you drift off course on waves of emotion. A wise advisor will apply reason to your financial situation when you cannot and protect you from potentially making devastating mistakes.
Insight, expertise, experience, accountability, reason. And that doesn’t even touch on the tax savings, investment returns, and other more quantifiable benefits an advisor can provide you with.
Personally, I see myself as much more than just an advisor. I aim to serve as an objective guide, a shoulder to lean on, a financial teacher, a business consultant, and someone that you can rely on for honest advice. If you think you could benefit from having someone like me in your corner, give me a call at (717) 283-4186 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can schedule a complimentary “Get Acquainted” meeting where we can get to know each other better and see if we might be a good fit for each other. I look forward to hearing from you!
David Niggel, CFP®, ChFC®, AIF® is the founder and president of Key Wealth Partners, LLC, an independent wealth management firm serving individuals, families, and business owners. Along with over a decade of financial services experience, he has advanced knowledge and training in providing holistic financial planning with fiduciary and ethical care, holding the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant®, and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® certifications. With hands-on entrepreneurial experience, he has the unique ability to help clients meet both their individual and business goals. Based in Lancaster, he serves clients through the York, Harrisburg, Hershey, and Central, Pennsylvania areas. Learn more by visiting www.keywealthpartners.com or connecting with David on LinkedIn.