When we attend gatherings with family and friends, the topic of your job and money most likely come up in one or more ways. Whether it’s about rising inflation, your job security, or the impact that COVID-19 has had on your workplace, money always seems to be a popular topic of conversation. 

Your loved ones are curious about you and how you’re doing, and since work and money most likely play a big role in your life, this is the reason why it tends to come up more frequently. You may find that it feels easier to have money conversations with family and friends. Talking about money (the good, the bad, and the ugly) with someone you know, love, and trust can take any potential stressful or judgmental components out of the equation, simply because you’re more comfortable with that person. Your friends and family are there to support you and lift you up no matter what. 

But what if I told you that you could be feeling the exact same way … with a financial professional? That’s right, you read that correctly. Having a financial professional that you can turn to for all your financial needs could actually be more beneficial to you. 

Let’s face it—money plays a major role in our lives and in society as a whole. Money allows us to pursue our dreams and gives us the financial security we need to take control of our lives. You’ve probably got questions about money, right? In fact, I’m sure we all have questions about money! And I’m sure we’ve all more than likely faced some sort of money challenge at one point or another in our lives. And that’s okay. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not alone—it happens more often than you may think. 

So, if you’ve got questions about money or want to start living the life you’ve been dreaming of, then now may be the right time to talk with a financial professional so you can get to where you want to go. 

When is it Time for a Financial Professional?

It’s an extremely common misconception that financial advisors only work with wealthy individuals and families. That’s absolutely not the case. Financial advisors work with anyone that is motivated to reach their life goals—they’re there to help you. Similarly, many people think that they don't need a financial advisor until they have accumulated a significant amount of assets or have reached a certain age. But most people can benefit from a financial professional's advice in many different stages of life—whether you're just starting out in your career, preparing for retirement, or already retired and hoping to stretch your nest egg a bit further—a financial advisor can help. 

When working with the right financial advisor, you’ll get the benefit of working with someone who offers a “bigger picture.” A good advisor will help you identify your goals and develop a program to help you achieve those goals. The advisor should also take the time and effort in understanding your goals, values, and risk tolerance in formulating a program that’s right for you. 

Benefits of a Financial Professional

One of the most valuable benefits a financial advisor can provide is the ability to help you articulate your goals—and then work toward them. It can be tough to conceptualize abstract financial plans, like saving for retirement or a child's college education. But when working with a financial advisor, they’re there to help you put a dollar amount on those types of goals and work backward to see what you need to do today, next year, and ten years from now in order to pursue them. 

Look for an advisor that will develop a custom plan just for you that looks at factors you might not be considering. Financial advisors can help you:

  • Develop a spending plan

  • Identify areas you can improve your assets

  • Invest your money (stocks, bonds, etc.)

  • Offer tax-planning suggestions

  • Combat inflation during retirement

  • Understand how your spending could potentially affect and change during retirement

  • Understand the impact of healthcare spending as you get older

Those are just some of the major ways that a financial advisor can help you improve your overall financial picture. A financial advisor is a sound investment. Oftentimes, the benefits of working with a financial advisor are not just based on numbers, but rather a combination of factors:

  • Several studies have attempted to quantify the value added by using a financial advisor. A study by Russell Investments concluded that using an advisor increased long-term investment returns by 5.2% or more annually. A study by Vanguard Investments puts the value added at about 3% annually.

  • The Russell Investments study incorporated several factors into their calculation including the asset allocation and tax advice provided by advisors. They help investors overcome tendencies toward behavior that can lead to poor investment and financial decisions. Their overall expertise helps clients mesh investing with their overall financial situation.

How Do Advisors Enhance Client Returns?

Financial advisors enhance client returns, but how? For starters, they take emotional components out of financial decisions. Advisors have the expertise and experience and are there to guide you in looking past where you’re at in the current moment, and instead “stay the course” over time in a fashion that will help you envision the future you want so you can reach your financial goals. 

Your emotions can wreak havoc on even the most well-built financial plan. A good advisor will help protect you from yourself, especially if you have the self-awareness to know that you occasionally make rash or emotion-fueled decisions. Ask yourself: wouldn’t it be nice to embark on your journey with someone who’s just as invested in your success as you are? 

Just knowing that someone cares about you in this way is impactful in and of itself. It’s part of the reason people hire personal trainers or business coaches. If you don’t have that connection with your advisor, I would say keep looking until you find one that checks all your boxes. 

Invest in Your Future

If you’re looking for an advisor or you’re already working with one, you need to make sure they’re the best fit to help you achieve your long-term goals. It’s not enough to “like” your advisor. You need someone that truly has your best interest and looks out for you. 

You’ve got to dig deep to find the one that’s right for you. To do that, you can ask them questions, too, to make sure they check all your boxes. 

Here are some questions you can ask during your search:  

  • What services do you provide and how will they help me succeed?

  • What are your professional qualifications?

  • How will our relationship work?

  • How (and how often) will you communicate with me?

  • How are you paid (percentage, flat fee, hourly rate)?

  • How will you track my success and investment performance?

Ultimately, you want an advisor that you know is committed to you and your well-being. You should never be in doubt about that. If you’re ever made to feel like a number, you deserve better. Find an advisor who values your relationship and will stick with you through all of life’s changes, because that’s the kind of person you’re going to need. 

At GOLD, we strive to provide you with the more than our excellent products, services, and educational resources. We’ve created the GOLDen Giveback Program as a way for us to give back to our Members by partnering with local businesses in our community to offer exclusive deals and discounts to GOLD Members. One of the businesses we’ve partnered with is Blue Mountain Financial Group/Primerica. They’re offering a complimentary Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) to give you an overview of your finances and provide a strategy that’ll help you achieve your goals. Visit our website for more details or to take advantage. You never know, you may just find the trustworthy financial advisor that you’ve been looking for! 

Chelsea Welk

Chelsea Welk

Chelsea is the Communications Manager at GOLD. She provides Members and future Members with detailed financial information that's aimed to better serve their personal financial goals. Chelsea enjoys working to fulfill GOLD's mission and vision to help make a positive difference in our Members' everyday lives.

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