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Financial Advisors -- Not Just for the 1%

February 24, 2016

In the world there exists a rare few of us who really love planning for goals like retirement, saving for a child's college, buying a home, or even saving to start a business.  We are the financial advisors.

The first and most obvious reason to hire a financial advisor is that any goal takes careful planning and execution to accomplish.  In 2014, a survey of over 1,000 adults was published, and the results showed that people spend more time planning for their vacations than for retirement.  Is this surprising?  Vacations are short term goals that are fun and immediately gratifying.  Think back to planning for your last vacation, the excitement you felt after booking that flight, or the thrill of knowing you will be taking time off work in the near future. For many people, retirement is a long way off, and planning for retirement doesn't evoke that same level of excitement as planning for a vacation. 

But in the world there exists a rare few of us who really love planning for goals like retirement, saving for a child's college, buying a home, or even saving to start a business.  We are the financial advisors, the nerds who want to spend the majority of our time on things that make other peoples’ eyes glaze over.  We take the complicated world of financial planning and try to make it easy to understand. The intention is to help people achieve their goals and feel great about it along the way. 

If we move from planning to actually investing money, another road bump comes up for investors:  their emotions.  When everything is going great in the stock market people feel best about investing.  When things are looking really ugly in the stock market people get scared and want to sell.  That logic leads to buying high and selling low.  If you bought your first house, would you want to buy it at the height of the market or at the bottom?  Of course you would want to buy it at the best deal possible.  Logic tells us to sell high and buy low, but emotions can often contradict this.  So the job of a good advisor is to help take the emotions out of investing and apply a disciplined, long term approach.

Whatever your goals may be, there are risks that could bring ruin to a financial plan.  This is why risk management is such an important area within which an advisor can help.  They can run a detailed analysis of your current risk management strategies and find gaps that need to be filled to protect your future.  What if something happened to you or your spouse?  A prudent advisor can help you put into place the proper disability and life insurance so your family can continue their same quality of life.

There are many areas where a financial advisor can be valuable to clients, but one of the most important is access to the advisor’s circle of influence.  Imagine working with an advisor who has spent years developing great relationships with CPAs, realtors, mortgage brokers, estate planning attorneys and other professionals.  When one of those professionals is needed, the advisor can be the quarterback within their circle of influence and pass you to the appropriate professional who will work well with your situation.  

The journey of life can be filled with many ups and downs, and money is one of the most stressful parts of life for many people.  A good advisor help you stay on the path to achieving your goals and help take emotions out of investing.  With this stress removed and risks mitigated, it could change the way you think about money and ultimately help you achieve financial success.

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Written by: Chris Gall

Chris is a specialist in the design, implementation and servicing of 401(k) plans.
He takes pride in the fact that employees know him by name when he is on site at companies he advises.  Whether it is advanced tiered profit sharing, pension/401(k) combos, or detailed investment reviews, Chris strives to provide the highest levels of support and advice in the industry.
Wealth management and comprehensive financial planning are still a core part of Chris' business.  He works with clients to clearly define their goals, take a snapshot of their financial situation, then do his nerdy work to create a custom tailored financial plan for them.  Chris prefers the freedom of working on a fee basis for clients, but can also work on a commission basis if it is appropriate.  Chris holds his series 6, 7, 63, 66 licenses as well as the AIF® designation and California life license.   Chris enjoys reading, macroeconomics, football, hockey, technology, gardening, craft beer, guitar, music, and yoga.

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