When it comes to financial planning and investing, sometimes the most important, and hardest decision, is to just get started. I have had the pleasure to help many of my clients develop a financial plan and begin investing. There is a tremendous feeling of pride in being the advisor that has earned the opportunity and trust to help the client start planning for their financial future. Whether buying a house, or a car, or reaching that special milestone of retirement, watching a client achieve their goal is very special to me.
However, there are many misconceptions out there that cause a delay in many to get started. First, is the belief that one must have a large amount of funds to begin planning or investing. That cannot be further from the truth. Part of this is brought on by large investment firms who set limits on the amount of money one must have before they are willing to help them. However, there are many more advisors who are standing by ready to help those that want to build their financial future. The key for me is finding the amount the client can be comfortable with. I like to take an in depth look at the income and expenses the client has in order to come up with this amount. As a parent, I know expenses arrive seemingly out of nowhere. Plus, we all like to have our fun! So those items get factored in as well. Whatever that amount is though, no matter how big or small, that is YOUR amount, and something to certainly be proud of.
Another misconception has to do with the belief that ALL investing is TOO risky. You may be thinking, "how is this a misconception?" After all, investments certainly do have risk! However, not all investments share the same amount of risk. And when it comes to investing, a client's tolerance for risk is very important factor in deciding how to invest the money. In broader terms, a client that has a high risk tolerance could possibly have more money allocated to stock based investments than someone that has a low tolerance. There are many recommendations out there that say the younger you are, the more risk you should take. I am here to say that if your tolerance does not meet the so called "status quo" that is quite alright. Because that is YOUR risk tolerance. My job is to find the investment that meets that tolerance.
Lastly, some believe they are "too late to the game". Folks, there are many times when I make suggestions to clients where their responses are "I never heard heard of that", or "I didn't know there was such a thing". That tells me, there can never be a too late to start planning! However, time CAN play a factor when it comes to investing. Compound interest is powerful thing, but we need the time to make it work.
If there is a financial dream that you have, there is no need to delay. Build that legacy or take that trip. Buy a car (I have a story about a LeBaron I will tell you if we ever meet) or build that retirement you deserve. Just get started!