"Do I really need to work with a wealth advisor?" It's a common question, and if you've ever asked yourself if working with wealth management consultants makes sense, you're not alone. After all, the services of an investment professional cost money. Would you be better off keeping those fees for yourself?
While — of course — the answer to this question varies by individual circumstances, we can tell you that working with a wealth advisor offers many advantages. Read on to discover how working with wealth management advisors can benefit you.
How Comfortable Are You With Strategic Wealth Management?
For some investors, the do-it-yourself approach is attractive. Maybe they like to read or watch the financial news every morning before work, keep their eye on the S&P throughout the day, and keep up with all the latest market news and trends. Others may prefer a "set it and forget it" approach, or make investment decisions based on advice from family, friends or co-workers... without ever really asking where that advice came from in the first place. Still others may simply trust an investment professional to make their decisions for them, never questioning how much they're paying in fees and costs.
No matter which camp you fall into, determining your own level of comfort with strategic wealth management is key. Do you have the time, experience and inclination to do the research and analysis that's required? Are you well-versed in the potential tax implications of investment decisions? Are you disciplined enough to create a financial plan and stick with it for the long term, not allowing market ups and downs to cause an emotional reaction? Does your knowledge extend beyond investing to estate planning and retirement planning?
Can You Make Objective Wealth Planning Decisions?
When yrebalance your portfolioou're making decisions about your own money, it's difficult to remain neutral and detached. How did you react during the 2008 - 2009 market downturn? If you're like many investors, you reacted emotionally and sold some — or all — of your portfolio holdings near the bottom of the market. If you'd been working with a wealth advisor, would you have made the same decision, based on fear and emotion, and missed out on today's near record highs, or would you have stayed the course?
Similarly, when it comes time to , will you be able to sell your high-performing stocks in order to get your portfolio back to your target allocation? Having an objective third-party on your side can make the difficult, but necessary, decisions just that much easier to make.
And perhaps just as importantly, do you enjoy managing your own finances and investments? If you see wealth management as a chore, will you be able to spend the necessary time to maintain your accounts, as well as keeping up with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions?
Wealth Planning: A Long-Term Undertaking
Though no one likes to imagine it, consider what would happen to your investments if you should become incapacitated or pass away. If you're managing all of your own finances, would your spouse or partner be able to take over? Would they want to take over?
If you have the knowledge, time and expertise to make well-informed decisions; can remain detached and objective; enjoy managing your own investments; and have a partner or spouse who could easily step into this role should you be unable, you may be in a good position to forgo working with an investment professional.
However, the value of the advice you receive from an investment firm goes beyond simply which investments to make. Working with a trusted wealth advisor allows you to:
- Mitigate risk and tax burden
- Create a customized investment plan that's based on your own risk tolerance and financial goals
- Rely on a neutral third party to help you stay the course through market ups and downs
- Incorporate retirement and estate planning services
- Optimize returns through proper asset allocation
The choice is yours.