Let’s face it. Life is hectic.
And the extent of the madness doesn’t seem dependant upon the particular life stage in which you find yourself. EVERYONE is busy. “Busy-ness” does not discriminate.
For more than a dozen years, I’ve been working in the financial services industry. Nowhere are the effects of this epidemic more evident than in my industry. More often than not, when I sit with a prospective client to identify their current insurance and investment plan, what I encounter is a hodge podge of products that do not add up to any real “plan” at all. Rather, their life events have usually triggered a series of reactive decisions that resulted in a filing cabinet (if you’re lucky to be THAT organized) filled with half understood contracts and statements. Something is better than nothing….right? True, but what about the gaps? The missed opportunities? The consequences of waiting?
Let me be clear: I’m not judging. As a self-employed woman, wife, daughter to an aging parent and Mom of two school aged children, I get it. I AM the sandwich generation. Who has the time to address each of the four pillars of financial planning when – at the end of a long day – all we all want to sink our heads into are our pillows.
In addition to our lack of time, I believe two myths fuel our lack of financial plan clarity. The first is the misconception that it’s all too complicated to understand anyway. The second is that it would simply cost too much to pay an advisor to figure it out for you. Both are false.
When it comes to “understanding it all,” this is where a little goes a long way. A good advisor can summarize where you are and where you need to be. A good advisor will also walk you through the steps to get there without talking over your head or “baffling you with”…you get my point. A good advisor will review with you more than once so that you will understand what you need to understand to feel confident in your decisions.
As for cost, the vast majority of advisors in this province do not work under a fee for service structure, but a commission based model whereby the cost of advisor compensation has been absorbed into the cost of the various products they market. These do not vary much from company to company, so as to ensure the advisor’s advice is not swayed by which product or company will pay them more. In fact, an article in the July 2012 edition of Forum Magazine stated that recent studies confirmed that most Canadian investors prefer an embedded fee structure. The logic was that being billed separately for the advice would likely cause them to hold back from making important financial decisions altogether.
Prior to entering this industry, I had been to the dark side. I knew the stress of not knowing if all my family’s bases where covered, or even which game we were playing. I can not tell you how much time I’ve saved by having all my coverage and investments summarized, in one file and readily accessible. I encourage you all to take the time to find an advisor that will help you to do the same.
I’m sure you’ll find something to do with the time that effort saves you.