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How the Right Advice Can Boost Financial Confidence

What value does a Certified Financial Planner® professional actually provide? This may surprise you, but the value of a quality financial advisor goes far beyond portfolio advice. It’s about guiding clients to develop successful financial behaviors. With robo-advisors and consistent market volatility in the headlines, it’s important to realize the comprehensive advantages of working with a personal advisor – not a computer algorithm.

A recent study by Fidelity Investments discovered that working with a financial advisor can add up to 4% higher investment returns. In a similar study, Vanguard estimated that the quantitative value of a financial advisor is about 3% on a net basis (4% minus a 1% fee). Additionally, an advisor can help give you peace of mind by boosting your financial confidence in the following areas:

  1. Developing a workable financial plan
  2. Serving as a behavioral coach
  3. Creating a consistent investment strategy
  4. Navigating retirement savings plans
  5. Developing a tax-sensitive investment strategy

1. Developing a workable financial plan

Regardless of life stage, we work with families and individuals to develop plans that allow them to achieve several financial goals at once, such as paying off student loans, saving for a desired vacation, and building a reserve for emergency expenses. After examining a client’s income, expenses, and spending habits, we can set priorities, identify areas where expenses can be reduced, and develop a savings plan to achieve both short and long-term goals.

2. Serving as a Behavioral Coach

In a world where personal financial issues have become increasingly complex, we help clients figure out what’s true or false, what works, what matters, what is useful, and what can go wrong. Not many people have sufficient expertise to do that themselves—especially with an objective mindset. We provide support to clients so they stay on course in times of financial stress to help eliminate poor financial decisions. It’s easy for investors to fall victim to common cognitive biases that affect their decisions. Guiding clients to more responsible financial behaviors can help in a myriad of ways, such as realizing the benefits of long-term investments and enjoying the security and peace of mind that comes from having sufficient retirement funds.

3. Creating a consistent investment strategy

Numerous studies show that when investors manage their accounts themselves, they tend to overreact to market changes. According to the 2016 Dalbar Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior Study, disciplined investors can see nearly double the returns on their investments over 20 years compared to those who try timing the market. With many clients, we guide them through selecting an appropriate mix of investments, rebalancing their investments as needed, and executing a consistent investment strategy that will keep them from making rash decisions.

4. Navigating retirement savings plans

A lack of retirement savings is a significant problem for many Americans due to longer lifespans, expensive medical care, and the rising cost of living. Without the guidance of a financial advisor, many Americans ignore the need for a solid retirement savings plan. Working with a financial advisor can help you determine the ideal time for retirement, the amount of savings needed to meet your retirement goals, and your ideal retirement age to guarantee income for life.

5. Developing a tax-sensitive investment strategy

Tax efficiency is a critical part of financial planning. We often give advice on issues such as tax-loss harvesting in brokerage and other taxable accounts, managing exposure on short-term capital gains, charitable giving, and more. While tax issues are not the main focus of our clients’ investment strategies, advice on how to manage, defer, and reduce tax exposure has the potential to improve returns by as much as 1% to 2% per year.

While financial advice is often perceived as simply implementing an investment portfolio or dispensing financial guidance, that truly is just one slice of the pie. When it comes to the five financial areas above, you can’t get any better than having a personal advisor there to help you navigate the complexities of your financial situation.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you with your finances, please contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation.   While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters.  You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Sources:

Fidelity Investments. (2017, Dec. 14). The value of advice [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/investing-ideas/financial-advisor-cost

Pfau, W. (2015, Jul 21) The Value of Financial Advice [Blog post] Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadepfau/2015/07/21/the-value-of-financial-advice/#71caf4ca1333

Douglass, M. (2017, Apr. 2). Yet another study shows that timing the market doesn’t work [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/02/yet-another-study-shows-that-timing-the-market-doe.aspx

Benjamin, J. (2014, Jan 27) Financial advisers can add 3 percentage points to client portfolios: Vanguard [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20140127/FREE/140129915/financial-advisers-can-add-3-percentage-points-to-client-portfolios

Opinions expressed in the attached article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.  This information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.  Links are being provided for information purposes only.  Investment involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respected sponsors.  Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.  Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse The Oechsli Institute.

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