Should I hire a Financial Advisor/Financial Planner or should I DIY my money?

Should I hire a Financial Advisor/Financial Planner or should I DIY my money?

I spent about a decade working in corporate finance and in that time I considered myself savvy when it came to my money. After all, I was a Finance graduate who loved to read Yahoo!Finance and Nerdwallet in my spare time.

While I did many things “right” with my money in my 20’s, what I have since realized is that you just don’t know what you don’t know and becoming a Financial Planner and going through the CFP curriculum (along with the working experience of helping many clients with financial planning) has made me keenly aware of the many mistakes I’ve made along the way. That’s a blog post for another day but today I want to go into the scenarios that should prompt you to speak with a financial planner/advisor and decide for yourself if it makes sense to get some help.

  1. You’re making a six figure income but somehow still feel like you’re spinning your wheels or simply don’t feel that your net worth is increasing and you are not making the progress you want to be making financially.

I think often times for motivated professionals the goalpost is to get the well paying job and finally feel like you’ve made it. For many this comes with years of sacrifice to get your professional degree, potentially six figures of student loans and countless hours honing your skills.

What’s often missing is the financial education on how to optimize your money and keep more of it (between strategic tax planning, investing for the future, spending below your means, using credit cards responsibly, protecting yourself in case of a disability or death).

While I love the internet and reading about personal finance, I’ve also realized that not everyone is like me. And I guess that’s a good thing, because I’d probably be out of a job if everyone loved personal finances just as much ☺

  1. You are simply not that interested in reading about personal finances and doing it yourself
  2. You don’t have the TIME to read and manage your finances can be a challenge for busy professionals
  3. There is one too many resources on the internet when it comes to personal finances making it more confusing to know what applies to you and you’re in analysis-paralysis mode
  4. You feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing all the aspects of your personal finances
  5. You’ve had a significant life change and feel you need a second set of eyes to help.

Some important milestones that come to mind include:

  1. Having a baby. One of the most exciting milestones in life comes with many financial responsibilities. From adjusting life insurance, making sure you have all the proper protections in place and starting the discussions about college planning and investing for your kids’ future.
  2. Changing jobs has many financial implications. From dealing with losing employee benefits, old retirement accounts to selecting new benefits and figuring out the impact of the change this is typically a time I get very involved with my clients as we review everything and make informed decisions.
  3. Having a significant cash/stock event. We’ve gone through this personally, having an influx of cash you didn’t anticipate CAN be life changing (if you plan carefully). It can be the difference of becoming financially independent sooner by a decade or spending the money on cars (that would be hubby’s choice) and carrying on as usual.
  4. Inheriting a large sum of money and trying to understand the tax implications and options when it comes to withdrawals.
  5. Going through a divorce is typically one of the hardest transitions one can face and having a guide help with the financial transition and changes can be very helpful.

The reality is that making good money is only one part of the puzzle to being financially successful. I’ve seen doctors in their 40’s with no investment accounts and I’ve seen retired teachers with multimillion dollar accounts.

As the saying goes “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep” and that is true for anyone who wants to build true wealth, become financially independent one day and have complete freedom over their time. It takes thoughtful planning to optimize your money. While it’s not rocket science and I think anyone is capable of managing their money and creating a plan, you don’t have to go it alone.

Reach out if you’re on the fence and want to explore the different ways we can work together.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.