When it comes to managing your personal finances, there are plenty of tips out there. You may find yourself asking your friends for advice, reading articles for hours, or even browsing social media to see what your favorite financial influencers have to say.
I spend a lot of quality time learning about finances and trying to figure out how to optimize and improve my own portfolio. When I talk to financial planners and advisors, I find myself inundated with so much good information that it can be overwhelming. That’s why I decided to try to find the best advice financial planners give their clients by asking them what bits of information make their clients thank them over and over again. This is what they had to say.
Don’t save just for the distant future
Many people work hard now and save for future retirement. But Jake Northrup, a planner and financial advisor, says it’s not enough to save for the future, and his clients appreciate his strategies that also focus on the near future.
“You need to save the right way to give you the flexibility to use the money throughout your life, rather than just waiting until age 59.5, when most pre-tax account penalties go away,” Northrup says. .
It encourages its clients to save in different “cubes”, each with a corresponding investment strategy: zero to five years, five to 15 years and more than 15 years.
“Many people limit their ability to enjoy money throughout life because they only save in their 401(k). By also saving in a Roth IRA and brokerage account, you have the flexibility to use the money much earlier in life Northrup says.
Get a financial education
If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my own personal finance journey, it’s that you have to seek out personalized advice along the way. Financial planner Cody Garrett says that personalized education during the financial planning process always leads to great appreciation later on.
Says Garrett: “Unlike financial ‘advice’ that tells others what to do, education provides the clarity and confidence for families to make their own well-informed decisions. Given the uncertainty and financial variables that are out of our control on the road to and through retirement, having clarity about one’s financial situation and a measurable action plan to refine the plan is worth more than the numbers on the page.”
What type of life insurance is needed?
A big part of working with a financial planner or advisor is getting help determining what types of insurance you need. Charles H Thomas III, a financial planner, says it means a lot to clients when he can help them plan for big things that could happen down the road.
“I work with many families who know they need life insurance to protect their children, but don’t know where to start or how much they need,” says Thomas. “When I work with a family to see what future obligations need to be covered, like college, income replacement and more, it takes a lot of stress and uncertainty out of the decision.”
Treat your HSA like a long-term investment account
Perhaps some of the best advice involves strategies that are not so obvious.
Financial planner Kevin Mahoney says one of his most helpful tips is to treat your health savings account like a powerful long-term investment account.
“Many of the millennials I meet with have not considered how an HSA can fit into their overall investment strategy,” says Mahoney. “For my peers who have these accounts, they often spend contributions in the same tax year or don’t take advantage of the HSA investment option. But the HSA’s triple tax benefits mean contributions are invested in diversified funds today and low-cost can grow to significant amounts by the time retirement (and our increased health care expenses) arrives.
Timing the market is better than timing the market
When it comes to getting advice on how to invest in the market, there are different schools of thought. Financial planner Keith Onto says clients appreciate it when he reminds them that time on the market is more important than time on the market.
“I can’t tell you how many times customers have reached out and asked if now is the time to sell and move to cash in anticipation of the next correction,” says Onto. “No one can time the market consistently, and more often than not the market has gone in the opposite direction of what the client may expect. More importantly, the client needs to be reminded of the time horizon for their goals.” individual”.