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Why I'm Different

Why I'm Different Than Other Advisors

I am in no way going to sit here and claim that I am "the best" financial advisor in the world. To do that would be egotistical, plus there is no clear definition of what the best looks like because everyone will define that differently. What I can, and confidently, say is that I am different.

I don't plan or operate like most other advisors out there, and I pride myself on being different. That's a main theme that I hope you find in working with me.

Through my training and years of industry knowledge, I have found that most financial advisors, planners, consultants, or whatever you want to call them, generally operate under the same structure.

1) Understand the basic needs and goals that someone has so you understand their current financial problems.

2) Figure out how the representatives products or funds can help stop the bleeding of that problem. In many instances, representatives try to over complicate their "strategies" to seem really smart, hoping their clients don't ask many questions.

3) Check in with them every so often to see if you can sell them some more products your firm is now offering.

4) Viola! You have a financial strategy in place!

As Lee Corso famously coined, "not so fast, my friend!" 

If this was the case, how come more people aren't as happy with their finances? How come so many baby boomers have had to delay their retirement? How come the biggest fear of baby boomers is running out of money in retirement? Why don't people have more confidence with their financial future?

Here are the two areas that many financial representatives work in:

Investment Planning

When will you retire? How much risk are you taking? What returns do you expect to get? How much do you need to retire? 

All these are nice questions. You probably want to have an idea about how you would answer these questions. But do you want your financial future to be dependent upon a static plan based upon these assumptions?

So when it comes time to manage your investments, and they understand your answers to those questions, it's pretty easy to figure out your "plan" from there because it's just math.

Determine how risky you want to be. (How do you define risk though? They won't talk to you about that)

Pick mutual funds that fit that risk profile you told them, and show you how awesome those mutual funds have done over the past 5 or 10 years.

VIOLA! "you can retire in 15 years Mr. and Mrs. Client as long as you save $X amount per year and get Y% returns each year."

Then maybe once or twice a year you'll get back together with them, talk about your mutual funds together, and implementing financial strategies are easy!

Insurance Planning

Want to solve that tax issue? INSURANCE!

Not saving enough? INSURANCE!

Trying to pay down debt? INSURANCE!

Want to stop global warming? INSURANCE (well, not really but I bet they'll try it!)

I'm not here to bash insurance. It serves a very valuable purpose in everyone's life. On average, families will spend 10-15% of their gross income on insurance - health, dental, vision, disability, life, long-term car, auto, home, umbrella, etc.

But, solving every financial issue with insurance products gets a little ridiculous. And wouldn't it help to understand WHY you have or should have insurance in different situations?!

And to try and get around the "life insurance salesman" to be a "financial planner," they might also talk to you about a Roth IRA and sell you some mutual funds too, and VIOLA! You have a financial strategy!

Here are some of the problems Traditional Financial Thinking creates:

Financial Junk Drawer

Financial Junk Drawer

Most people make financial decisions one at a time. They buy this, put money there, start that account, etc. These decisions often overlap, create inefficiencies, or have blind spots that people don't realize until it's too late. Don't go through life "checking boxes" about your finances. The stakes are too high.

Unbalanced Assets

Unbalanced Assets

Everyone wants their assets to grow over time, however different types of assets will have varying levels of risks and returns. In many cases, people have most of their assets in risk-based assets, with little-no risk management strategy. That's good when everything goes up, but can be catastrophic when things all of a sudden don't.

Inefficient Cash Flows 

Inefficient Cash Flows 

Cash flow is critical. It may be the most important aspect of your finances. Without cash flows, nothin else matters. Many people make money to spend money, with little awareness about what is actually going out. It's what feels comfortable now. Don't let "comfort" now lead to discomfort later. Good habits ensure efficient cash flows.