Most Financial Advisors are advising according to history. History certainly has much to tell and we can all learn from historical events in whatever general category we choose from politics to economics, to how to raise a family or get along with folks; history has valuable lessons.
However the prudent investor doesn’t stop there. She must then apply those lessons of history to the circumstances of TODAY and attempt to envision the future from today. Looking ahead is one thing an advisor is hired to do. Simply reciting the past has value, but that is available to just about everyone thanks to the information age with readily available computers and smart phones. So can the future be managed based on history? All investment ads go to great length to disclaim that past performance is not an indication of the future. Boomers and Seniors have to be concerned with the future which for Boomers and Seniors of today have generally agreed conditions that history has not had to deal with such as: longevity. The average life expectancy is to age 80 and 85 and more. The cost of custodial care is a great concern with costs as much as $60,000 to $100,000 per year. Interest rates have been at historical LOWS for several years. This was how seniors safely invested money and lived off the interest earning, but now and the future look bleak for that strategy with high grade bonds rates lower than inflation. All these and other current conditions demand a more comprhensive plan than what history can provide. We are in “uncharted waters” for the future, and that futre might be 30+ years form many Boomers and Seniors.
So first find an Advisor.
Essential ingredients are:
1) Trustworthy- Is your advisor brutally honest? or does he sugar coat the facts? Is the information intended to generate a sale or help guide you today in preparation for the future?
2) Friendly- Is your advisor approachable, non judgemental and understanding? Would you use the term “compassionate” to describe him?
3) Knowedgeable- Does your advisor know his stuff? Is he credentialed and experienced? Experience can avoid pitfalls the unexperienced will fall prey to. The experience also serves as living history of 100’s or 1000’s of clients first hand that are not published. Credentials show the degree of commitment to his profession. Are they 1 day internet classes or a two year degree program from an accreditied college?
4) Connected- How often does your advisor reach out to “touch base”? Annually? Twice a year? Quarterly? or more often? Is the conversation about his agenda or yours? An advisor has to know whats going on in your life to advise you on your situation. Change is a constant in this life and these times changes occur much more rapidly than ever before. What was once an annual update now needs to be quarterly or monthly.
Once a good advisor is found then, together, you can establish a plan to handle the specifics of your future and move into that future with confidence and piece of mind.
Contact us for our white paper entitled “Who’s your financial advisor? (And Does it Matter?) Or download a copy from our website at www.RChristianFinancial.com. There are several videos with planning strategies to review and loads of free information.