While a journey of a thousand miles may begin with just a single step, it also helps to have a map to guide you to your destination
Do you know what a financial plan is? What it looks like? What it should contain?
I am often amazed at how many people I speak with think that they have a financial plan. They assume they have a plan simply because they supposedly have a financial planner or advisor. Actually, they tell me they have “a guy.” It seems that everyone has a guy.
A financial product or portfolio is not a financial plan
Many people mistakenly believe that retirement planning is all about their portfolio or financial products. This myth is perpetuated in the financial media, as well as in every commercial that we are subject to from the brokerage and financial services industry. To make matters worse, many financial salespeople masquerade as financial planners or advisors. If you went to a broker, gave him your hard-earned money, and all he did was invest it for you, all you have is a portfolio. You do not have a financial plan, and he is certainly not a financial planner. Likewise, if you went to an insurance guy, and purchased a cash value life insurance policy or an annuity, you have a financial product, not a financial plan. All too often, I meet with people who are confused by this distinction. Could this type of misrepresentation be part of the reason for the level of mistrust of financial professionals?
It must be recognized that financial products and investment vehicles are necessary – yet they are not a financial plan. They are simply the tools that you will use to help you execute your plan. In most cases, it will require more than one product to execute a true financial plan.
Your roadmap to success
The period from the beginning of the retirement planning process through your retirement years could be a journey of forty to fifty years, or even more. Your financial plan should be your roadmap to guide you on that long journey. Over this period, many things will happen that will have an effect on your plan and possibly on your retirement. Your plan will act as your compass to keep you on track when things, such as the market or personal events, go wrong.
Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
When was the last time you reviewed your financial plan? If it was more than a year ago or if you don’t have a plan (or if you thought you had a plan but now realize you don’t) you really need to get going. Besides money the most important thing there is when it comes to financial and retirement planning, is time. Wouldn’t it be better to have time work for you rather than you having to work for all time?
Give us a call today at (732) 875-0100 to schedule your NO OBLIGATION financial plan and portfolio review. Put time back on your side.
David J. Seibel is founder and Managing Partner of AGS Aurora Financial Services LLC (www.agsaurora.com), an independent financial advisory firm in Matawan, New Jersey. You may contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investment Advisory Services offered through Global Financial Private Capital, LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor