Clients have landed at Exchange Capital Management for a wide range of reasons. Many simply want a team of experienced portfolio managers making investment decisions on their behalf, while others gravitate towards our financial planning process and retirement analysis. Regardless of the reason, the decision to pick up the phone and call us is seldom determined overnight. Until that call is made, individuals can go months and even years with a nagging question on their minds: when is it time to hire a financial advisor?
Below are four of the most common reasons individuals decide it’s time to contact Exchange Capital. Each individual's financial situation is unique. While only some of these reasons may be applicable to your financial journey, they all illustrate that it’s never too early (or late) to start a conversation.
To Build an Emotional Barrier
One of the most important aspects of successful portfolio management is removing emotion from investing. This is especially difficult as the best times to invest are often the most uncomfortable and the worst times are when we feel safe again. In other words, a strong investment thesis is in direct contrast to human emotion. It’s easy to sit back and self-manage when markets are rising, but when they inevitably correct, are you disciplined enough to stick to your strategy?
To Buy Back Time
Even if you’re a successful investor and can stomach the volatility and headlines, is that a commitment you’re willing to dedicate time and energy to? Processing deposits/withdrawals, keeping an eye on tax implications, and staying current with market-moving events can easily turn into a full-time job. Many of our clients find there are better ways to spend their time, either accelerating their career, spending quality time with their families, or pursuing hobbies.
To Protect from the Unknown
There can also be an overwhelming fear that decisions made self-managing a portfolio are leading to inadvertent consequences that may not be known for years to come. Is enough being saved or am I spending too much? Are my allocation and risk levels appropriate for my stage in life? Are the investments I’m in going to limit my access to funds?
To Optimize Savings
For those earlier in the accumulation stage, the options for investment accounts and what to do with excess savings seem infinite. Coordinating between 401(k)s, IRAs, and bank accounts would be far simpler if someone were to just tell you what to do and when. If earnings increase significantly, are those dollars being saved in ways that benefit you the most?
To Cover Family Changes
Raising a family comes with a long list of benefits and struggles. Growing into larger homes, preparing for education costs, and starting your children on the right track financially. These are just a few considerations that aren’t just made once but are likely present throughout the rest of your lives.
To Prepare for Retirement
One of the most common reasons individuals walk through our door is due to an upcoming retirement. In some cases, it’s clear enough has been saved to comfortably retire, they simply want to start a relationship with a trusted contact who can guide them through the transition. Often including Social Security, Medicare, shifts in taxation, and required distributions, many decisions made during this time are irrevocable and will very likely have impacts on the next 20+ years.
To Navigate Retirement
On the other side, some clients come to us having already retired and may have been for a number of years. The main topics brought forth in these cases include determining which goals to prioritize often including, charitable and family giving, travel, and preparing for increased medical costs. Some unique planning strategies become available at this time that often have short windows of opportunity, and we help our clients plan accordingly.
To Prepare For The Future
It’s never too early to start planning for the transition of your estate. It all starts with determining beneficiaries of assets, assigning guardians for minors, and electing executors. This can feel like a difficult task especially when the future implications of each of these decisions are often unclear.
To Build Strong Communication
Another reason that clients pick up the phone becomes evident when one spouse has taken on the responsibility for all financial decisions. This typically leads to the other spouse being in the dark on where money is and how to access it when needed. When it comes to your financial plan, it is important for both partners to be involved and aware. Exchange Capital can help facilitate those conversations, and in the unfortunate event of a tragic loss, we'll provide guidance, preventing an already grieving spouse from feeling overwhelmed by complicated financial decisions.
The Bottom Line
There may be many reasons you're considering hiring a financial advisor. Whether you're time-starved, experience-starved, or just want to make sure you're taking the right steps to prepare for the future, it may be the right time to pick up the phone and call. Regardless of your reason, we'd be happy to sit down with you, explore your financial situation, and help you find the answers you're looking for.