The image that pops into most people’s minds when asked to picture wealth management is structured suits, corporate offices, and contracts. What most don’t take into account is that wealth management is, loosely translated, all about people. Wealth management involves providing financial and investment advice, accounting and tax services, and legal or estate planning for a set rate. From there, a long-term wealth plan is created that works for you. This is the system on which Hundman Wealth has built in all its services.
The difficulty with effective wealth planning is that it is subjective. It all depends on your life’s journey and your priorities. Modeling your wealth plan after your neighbor’s will not get you to where you need to be and accomplish neither your short nor long term goals. That being said, here are some things to keep in mind when preparing to plan for your future.
THE PLAN SHOULD BE ALL ABOUT YOU
Financial planners usually come highly qualified, recommended, and educated. All this is taught, examined, and shown in a test score that is filed away, often never seen again. However, something that cannot be taught is the ability to connect with people. An advisor harnesses the inertia of someone’s future. The gravity of this responsibility is great, but it hinges on the relationship built with the clients. An advisor who can listen and walk a mile in your shoes will better understand how you travel through life. Vice versa, you should be able to trust your advisor as a partner with whom to take that walk. Your individual needs ,wants, and goals should be documented and upheld through every stage of the plan.
IT IS NOT ALL BY THE BOOK
We tend to think of our financial futures as one giant spreadsheet in which we just keep checking off major life events. Realistically, a spreadsheet is an impersonal representation of you. It may show numbers, but it will never truly encapsulate every bump in the road, graduation, vacation, birth, marriage, or house purchase for what it’s worth. Your financial plan should be flexible enough to accommodate for the unexpected. Sometimes you will have to go off-script and there will be no way around it. Minimizing loss while doing so is key to a solid plan.
A plan without action is as good as buying a boat and never taking it out on the water. The phrase, “you can bring a horse to the well, but you can’t make him drink,” rings true here. Financial advisors should give you written counsel, be available to answer your questions, and also help with the plan’s implementation process. Keeping clients accountable is part of the job, but clients need to understand the consequences of not heeding that advice or holding themselves accountable. It is the planner’s duty to advise wisely, but it is your life; only you can live it.
A GOOD PLAN IS MONITORED OVER TIME
You wouldn’t measure the value a person’s career by a single year. His or her financial future is no different. Think about all that happens over a lifetime: markets rise and fall, and priorities shift with age. A successful financial plan is made by analyzing your current situation and optimizing for the future. It is a snapshot in time rather than a minute-by-minute countdown. This will keep it open to adoption of new strategies and fluid to the ever-changing circumstances of life.
Your advisor will provide financial guidelines, both low and high parameters, to signify overall performance (the least favorable outcomes compared to the most favorable). Strong financial plans will keep you within these limits so that you can enjoy the present and be prepared for the future.
YOUR PLAN IS SIZED TO FIT YOU
Some clients will not need a full-scale, in-depth plan to make a big impact. Sometimes a few simple suggestions will change the course of their financial legacy. Others may require a more extensive action plan. One-size-fits-all approaches to financial planning are often not recommended because we do not live one-size-fits-all lives. Each of us makes different decisions every day for different reasons that affect our financial status; the right plan (and advisor) will motivate you to think ahead while meeting you where you are.
Interested in our services? Contact Hundman Wealth today to speak to a professional and get started on your future!