Published by Andrew Rogers, Strategic Opportunities Associate
If you are anything like me, what you want to do with your money and what you should do with your money are almost the exact same list in the completely opposite order. I know I should have a reserve and pay off my car loan, but that Apple Watch, Brooks Brother’s suit and dinner out with my friends are so much more fun. I know I should be putting money in my 401(k) more often than going on vacation, but my 401(k) doesn’t have sandy beaches or mountains to explore. In fact, it feels more like having to hike over a really tall mountain in my sand-filled flip flops than a fun vacation. I know I want to start a family, but saving for the added expenses seems unnecessary less than a year out of college and two years away from my wedding. And somewhere way at the bottom of my want list is planning to retire. I am 23-years-old and retirement feels like an eternity away.
- Build a reserve
- Pay off debt
- Save for retirement
- Buy a house
- Save to start a family
- Save for vacation/big purchases
- Buy really cool things (cars, clothes, food)
- Go on vacation
- Start a family
- Buy a house
However, reality has begun to set in. Weddings are expensive, school debt, car payments, buying a house, saving for retirement; all of these things get taken out of my paycheck before I get to spend a dime on the items high on my want list. If I had my way, I would make it so my employer took out every cent for the five items listed above and only paid me what was left over as “fun” money. I have found, however, that the responsibility falls squarely on my shoulders. I have a degree in finance, work in financial services and spend more than half of my day knee deep in excel spreadsheets, and do you know what still keeps me up and night? Asking myself if I have done enough to ensure that my future wife, unborn children and I will have enough resources to live the type of life we want the rest of our lives. At the end of the day I still rely on my financial advisor and his team to help me identify and build a game plan for my goals.
I have friends ask me why someone would hire an advisor right after college, many say why pay someone to do what you got a degree in. My response is always the same- I have a full time job, I am planning a wedding, coaching soccer, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and doing more of what I love; none of those things am I willing to give up to do the research necessary to manage my own retirement portfolio. I needed a trusted advisor who understands how to allocate my portfolio and continuously provide portfolio management as I pursue my goals.
Make sure your advisor is truly sitting on the same side of the table as you are; they work for you, not the other way around. Your advisor should provide straight forward fees, an executable game plan and advice in common language. Here are 10 questions to ask your advisor RIGHT NOW or to help you with your investment advisor search. They are a member of your team, the “quarterback” if you will, but you are still the Coach, General Manager and Owner all in one.