It's Just Math (isn't it?)
Why on earth would anyone pay a fee to have a financial planner help them? After all, isn't it just a matter of common sense? As one gentleman once exclaimed to me, "It's just math."
As someone who hates to pay for anything that I can do myself, I feel your pain. But it just may be that we need to turn this rock over a bit more and look under it.
There's no reason to believe that just because you know how to quantitatively analyze a math problem with more than six variables, that you are familiar with the tax code, which even Albert Einstein said was "more philosophy than mathematics."
The typical electrical engineer would not be expected to understand how it's possible to generate a consistently positive growth in an IRA north of 7% without market risk.
Your average rocket scientist, if there is such a thing, might be surprised to find that there are ways to prevent the government from taking a large chunk of money from his family after he dies.
You see, the math is easy. It's the financial expertise that's missing. Just because you are a prodigy in your own field doesn't mean you are an expert in all the mysteries of the universe.
Maybe we should talk...
Why is the financial services field one of the fastest growing professions in the country? Because Americans have accumulated lots of assets, and they'd like to maximize the growth of those assets, then protect them from creditors. What kind of creditors? The government can be a creditor. So can Wall Street. A competent financial professional should be able to help protect you from the financial sharks in the water.
Here are some of the services that a true financial services firm can provide:
The average investor is a professional at buying high and selling low! A good advisor should be able to help you avoid these poor returns. He or she should be able to quantify risks of different investments, and steer the client toward the maximum rate of return with the minimum amount of risk necessary to achieve that rate of return, and no more.
* Risk Management and Asset Protection
Insurance and legal solutions should be in the area of expertise of the financial planner. He or she should have a knowledge of trusts and forms of ownership, as well as have a good relationship with attorney's and CPA's, who can then implement the recommended strategies. (Note: NavStar does not engage in the practice of law, nor in tax advising. We do, however, work with professionals who do.)
A financial planning pro should be able to steer a client into strategies that will minimize, and many times avoid, income taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes.
* Budgeting and debt reduction
Cash flow analysis and financial position statements give clients the ability to know how they stand at any given point in time, and then to make the necessary adjustments. A good planner will be a debt reduction advocate, and may even offer some concierge services, such as assisting clients in buying negotiations and other financial transactions.
There's cheap...and then there's value!
It's not hard, in reading the above list, to see how over the long haul, having yourself a professional planner could greatly enhance your asset base. If, after hiring a planner, you don't begin to see true value, then you should look around for another one.
Of course, it's my goal here at NavStar to autograph everything we do with excellence. It's my hope that we can become friends and colleagues, and that one day you'll thank me for the job I've done for you. I'd love to meet you.
Until next time,
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