The Right Advice

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Published by Robert W. Huntley, CFP®, CHFC®, Founder & Wealth Advisor 

You are moving through life making dozens of decisions daily.

Health, family, work, faith, civic duties.

There are many moving pieces to manage. Every day you must make many choices. Some choices create stress and uncertainty.

It’s simple logic really; a choice between A or B often puts you at risk of making a mistake. If it’s a minor daily decision like what will you have for lunch today, a hamburger or salad, it’s not such a stressful thing (although personally, I do stress about this regularly!).

However, some decisions can really eat away at our peace of mind.

Chief among the stress-inducing choices we must make are those related to money.

“Our tax return is almost due. I have done it myself for years, but maybe I should start using a CPA? Oh well, it’s too late this year, maybe I’ll do something about that next year.”

“Speaking of taxes, I wish I had maxed out my 401(k) plan in 2018 so I would have paid less tax. I’ll have to bump it up this year, but it’s already almost April. Should I put in even more for 9 months and then drop it back in January?” 

“It was so sad hearing about Mara’s husband passing. He was only 50. I hope they had their finances in good shape. How’s she going to handle this and still stay home with their teenagers? We have got to meet with an attorney and get our wills done.” 

“The stock market feels like it’s getting close to a meltdown. I thought we were seeing another big sell-off last November. I’m still sitting in cash even though the market has already rebounded almost to where it was before that fourth quarter sell off. Should I get back in?”

Money is a necessary but stressful topic.

It’s clearly a stress inducer in many marriages.

Here’s something you should never forget: NOT MAKING A DECISION IS STILL A DECISION!

This is called procrastination, and it can be the most stressful part of financial decision making. We know we need to decide, but we’re afraid to make a mistake, so we put it off. STRESSFUL!!

How to Simplify This Part of Your Life?

It doesn’t have to be this way when it comes to things related to money. Money doesn’t have to be so complicated.

Imagine having a trusted source to talk to when you need an objective opinion about anything related to money, investing, insurance, debt, and so on. Would that help?

This is really what having a trusted financial advisor should look like. It’s not just about investing. That’s one part of a healthy relationship between you and your advisor. But it’s just a part of it when it’s the right relationship.

A qualified advisor has made it his or her professional focus to have an educated opinion on all things finance. Taxes, cash flow, estate and charitable planning, investing, college, retirement, debt, business, on and on.

They don’t have to know everything. They just need to have wisdom (knowledge properly applied) and the ability to quickly find the answer or point you to a resource who can give you the answer. That’s the power of having a trusted financial confidant who can help you make these decisions and stop putting important decisions off.

Of course, this person does not have a crystal ball and cannot know for sure what will happen. They cannot predict the future, but it is reasonable for you to expect them to have an educated opinion. Even though it’s a guess, it’s still easier to think things through with a knowledgeable person helping you choose what to do.

What they can definitely do for you, however, is help you get to a point where whatever happens, you will always have a plan in place to handle your finances.

Part of getting to that place is making wise decisions about spending, saving, investing, protecting, and positioning. Also crucial to success is having that trusted guide by your side when things get scary and you are most likely to make bad choices based on either fear or greed. Those are times when having a trusted person to remind you of your goals, your overall plans and what you had said during less stressful times, does make all the difference.

Life is an adventure, with many choices. Fortune tends to favor the bold.

But the wisest among us know a secret – surround yourself with smart, trusted advisors and listen to their advice.

You don’t have to make important financial decisions alone. You just need to find the right person to help you.

Do you have a trusted person you can turn to for these discussions? If not, we’d be honored to talk with you or someone you know and care about who needs help.

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