Those who know me are familiar with my bottom-line orientation. I always aim to cut to the chase and get to the heart of any issue at hand. As a wealth advisor and financial planner, my lone priority is to get you the best risk/reward ratio on your investments. That’s how I determine my success, and it’s the standard by which I expect clients to evaluate my work as well.
While it may sound simple and straightforward, there’s a lot that goes into achieving that lone priority. For one, my ability to do that is directly proportional to my knowledge of a client’s circumstances and goals. To gauge them, I ask clients to define peace of mind for themselves and their families—their “Act Two,” if you will (for insight on what this process looks like, check out my post “Retirement: Defining Peace of Mind”).
This is an important step for both of us. Without a plan in place, even if they have enough funds to make it through comfortably, people find retirement unfulfilling. Those empty hours become empty weeks, months, and years. And all that unproductive time becomes depressing. By the same token, I can’t develop a custom-tailored plan to meet a client’s interests and needs if I don’t know what they are. The bottom line? You need a purpose in retirement, and you need to share it with others.
So, how do I—or any experienced, client-focused advisor—achieve purpose-driven retirement success for my clients? In addition to creating a strategy with their unique circumstances in mind, I also help mitigate some of the issues individual investors tend to run into due to human psychology and emotion.
For so many of us, fear rules the game. As a result, investors sell when an issue is falling (fear of further losses); buy when a stock is already near its peak (fear of missing out); or fail to think about how a particular product or investment might affect their retirement strategy or portfolio before purchasing it (fear of doing nothing). But those fear-based actions are antithetical to what I’ve learned over more than three decades as an advisor: nothing is more important than creating a strategically diversified portfolio.
How do you trump those overwhelming fear-based urges? Find the right advisor. He or she will manage your wealth based on three crucial pillars: real diversity of investments, a safety net of bonds and cash, and buying on weakness and selling on cash—all in service of your ultimate goals in retirement. These efforts are tricky to carry out for the average investor, but the modus operandi for an experienced professional, making choosing the right individual an invaluable investment. How will you know that you’ve found the right financial advisor? Ask them about their experience and strategy—and ask whether they have any questions for you. If they demonstrate interest and concern for your unique circumstances, and those three pillars are part of their plan, you’ve probably found a winner.