“Many people are not ready to pay for advice they can use, so the few that do, break boundaries and soar higher.” ― Bernard Kelvin Clive
Have you started on your financial journey yet?
I hope you did since the second-best time to start is now – the first being, yesterday – and have you put thought on how you’ll go about it. Today, I’m hoping to explain to you:
The problems of going through your financial journey alone.
If you are the type of person who naturally prefers doing things on your own, you’ve probably noticed that you can focus more, which leads to being more productive and creative. No need to go back and forth with someone else right?
Though it has clear benefits, it also has its setbacks which could be avoided only if you decided to seek some help. In fact, there is a great possibility you may encounter the following problems, if you choose to go through your financial journey alone:
- You don’t know how and where to start.
“I want to invest, but I don’t know where to start” is a gripe I usually here from beginners (and even seasoned entrepreneurs!). It is a clear problem especially the myriad of options in the market today, from Mutual Funds to oft-misunderstood variable universal life policies and even UITFs (Unit Investment Trust Fund) that banks offer.
Not having someone to work with makes this even more difficult to sift through.
- You could lose your way.
Given that this journey lasts a lifetime, I often encounter people who started out right, but got distracted along the way and ended up making decisions that ultimately diverted them away. Having someone work with you throughout, and keeping tabs on your progress, ensures that you’ll stay on track.
Sometimes, it also helps just to have someone you can trust that has your back to talk with you about your financial goals and roadblocks. Especially if that person is giving you advice for a fee and not trying to push a high commission product down your throat. This is also why it’s important to work with a Financial Advisor that’s fee-only.
You could also avoid costly mistakes since an advisor working with you (again, not a salesman) could tell you that buying into a certain product would just burn a hole through your pocket with tons of fees.
- You’ll waste too much time.
I also experienced this myself, being largely self-taught. When I first started out, I read pretty much everything on Personal Finance and found that there is a ton of conflicting advice out there. So how does someone just starting out make it work?
Find a fee-only advisor who has earned their Registered Financial Consultant or Registered Financial Planner designation who will guide you through the process. Also make it very clear that the discussion is about Financial Planning and you’re not buying any product from them.
If you’re still undecided on working with someone, you have alternatives:
- Make use of the internet to find useful blogs, articles, and videos. There are a lot of free resources you can find on the cyberspace to help you expand your knowledge base.
- Read finance books. Reading finance-related books may give you different insights from those people who became successful in their respective fields. I plan to write up a list soon on the best books to start, feel free to remind me 😉 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join online financial forums. Online forums are often a good place to start reading about other people’s experience (especially on misselling by unethical salespeople). A reliable forum, that I also enjoy reading is phinvest in reddit. Note: Use it for initial reading and not as the end-all be-all source. You still need to talk with an RFC/RFP who will consider your unique circumstance.
- Follow Personal Finance specialists on their social media accounts and discover their distinct financial views.
- Socialize with like-minded individuals. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and sharing both struggles and successes can help you not to lose your motivation in your financial journey.
- Attend webinars and seminars. If I could impart one thing to you, it is that the best investment is in yourself and one of the ways to do that is education. Aside from reading books and other content, it’s also good to try out seminars and webinars that impart reliable financial advice (and not sell you a product). You could also meet with like-minded people when you join up, two birds with one stone.
Seeking help shouldn’t be something to avoid or be afraid of, especially if it involves one of the most important aspects of your life. Reach out and ask for advice, especially from someone who is focused on provided fee-for-advice and not trying to sell you an expensive financial product.
By the way dear reader, we’re planning to set up a Financial Journey Workshop soon. If you join up, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of planning for your Financial Journey from goal setting to planning out your portfolio and even to passing on things to your loved ones.
Disclaimer: Just a reminder, dear reader, that the content in this column is my opinion only and should not be construed as investment advice because I am not your financial adviser, neither did I take into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation, needs or circumstances as your fiduciary. This column is mainly for your entertainment and education only.