Posts Taged ask-an-advisor

Ask an Advisor: Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Transcript

Jacob Sturgill: 00:09

Welcome to Puckett and Sturgill Financial Group’s Ask An Advisor segment. I’m Jake Sturgill and today, I’m interviewing Deborah Williams about common estate planning mistakes we oftentimes see clients make.

Deborah Williams: 00:20

That’s right. We do, as partly because of what we, as advisors, what we help clients with. They will seek us out for help with estate planning. But I would say the first common mistake that I see a lot is not having any estate plan in place. There’s no will. There’s no living will, no power of attorney.

Jacob: 00:38

See that often.

Deborah: 00:39

Right. That’s easy for us to fix because we have relationships with attorneys, so we can put the client in touch with that attorney and then, they can draw up the legal documents that are needed and we can be involved in that plan and make sure that everything is coordinated so that assets will transfer as the decedent wishes.

Jacob: 00:59

Yeah, I think it’s really important to work as part of a team and utilize our network if clients don’t have existing relationships or if they have existing relationships, continue to work with their existing relationship and really integrate it as part of a holistic financial planning team.

Deborah: 01:15

Absolutely. That’s how we can avoid other mistakes. One of the easy things that we can do is make sure that beneficiaries are named on retirement plans or other accounts. Transfer on death beneficiaries are popular now. That’s another area that we see common mistakes happen, when there’s either a missing beneficiary or an out of date beneficiary, like an ex spouse.

Aaron: 01:12

Yeah. We want to see that they’re educated and that they are extremely competent.

Jacob: 01:39

Right?

Deborah: 01:40

That it was overlooked in the divorce and it was never removed.

Paul: 01:43

Sometimes the simplest things to fix can be pretty costly in the end. In the state of Maryland, if you don’t have a named beneficiary or don’t have your estate planning documents in order, it’s not you that is dictating, it’s the state of Maryland and other statutes.

Deborah: 02:00

Right. It’s the laws of the state that dictate where your assets go, which may not be what the decedent wished. If you have no beneficiary listed on your retirement plan, then your estate is assumed to be the beneficiary and if you have no will, then it would just be divvied up according to that state’s laws.

Jacob: 02:17

Exactly. Really great point. Thank you for going into more detail on that. If you have any questions, we’re here to help you. Please visit our website, send us an email or give us a call. We’re here to help.

It’s Your Turn to Ask

Ask an Advisor: What does the future look like for Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group?

Transcript

Paul: 00:08

Hi. Welcome to Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group Ask An Advisor segment. I’m Paul Sorenson, financial planner with Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group, and I’m here today with Aaron Puckett. Aaron, what’s the future for this firm look like? They’re, they’re creating a relationship with our firms, so what’s the future look like for Puckett & Sturgill?

Aaron: 00:26

Boy, I wish I could tell the future. I wish I had a crystal ball. I could just, but yeah, I think to understand my best guess anyway as to what the future of our firm will look like, is to really look at what are the core parts of our firm that have been there since the beginning. And there are some things that haven’t changed. Those are, I think three main things.

Aaron: 00:50

First of all, we really value advisers that have credentials and experience, and are very competent and qualified people.

Paul: 00:57

Sure.

Aaron: 00:58

And so as we think about our firm going forward and possibly continuing to grow, I think we’re only going to be looking for advisors that kind of fit that mold of what we’ve done.

Paul: 01:11

Educated folks.

Aaron: 01:12

Yeah. We want to see that they’re educated and that they are extremely competent.

Paul: 01:17

Absolutely.

Aaron: 01:18

The second thing is I think the team element of our firm is something that is very special. And so I think advisors that buy into that idea that they want to be part of a team, they don’t want to operate in a bubble, you know?

Paul: 01:32

Not sitting on an island by themselves trying to figure it out.

Aaron: 01:34

They value each other. I know you do, and I know I do. We value the advice and the camaraderie that we experience as part of that team.

Paul: 01:43

Sure.

Aaron: 01:44

I think it’s better for clients too when the advisor is operating as part of a team. So I could see that being something that’s a characteristic of our firm in the future.

Aaron: 01:54

And then the last thing, which I think is probably the most important, and that is that we all of us have a very strong ethical commitment to our clients. We really care about them. Our families have been in the community a long time. We want to do what’s right for people and we really care, and that’s the culture.

Aaron: 02:15

No matter how many people are working with our company or what lines of business have changed and how the industry has changed, I think those are the key components, the parts of our value proposition that will continue, be competent advisors working together as a team with their sole focus on taking care of their clients, doing what’s right for them that they can because they care.

Paul: 02:39

Excellent. Excellent. Well thanks, Aaron. That was really helpful and I think it really gives a look towards the future of what Puckett & Sturgill will be and currently is. Thanks for joining us today and watching the Ask An Advisor segment with Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group. We hope that if you have additional questions, you’ll reach out to us via the website or give us a buzz. So thanks a lot and we’ll see you next time on Ask An Advisor.

It’s Your Turn to Ask

Ask David: What Steps can I Take Today to Impact My Retirement Plan?

It seems like there’s a day or a week or even a month that’s dedicated for some well-intentioned cause or another. Sometimes, these dedications are helpful reminders to check up on important issues. For example, did you know that October was National Financial Planning Month?

Even if you missed checking in on your retirement plans during the month of October, it’s never too late to get to work on your retirement planning! Today, we’re talking to our own David Hemler about some steps that you can take today to make a positive impact on your retirement plans for tomorrow. So grab a cup of coffee and read on to learn David’s three steps to take today!

Step One: Take Charge Today

Are you preparing for your financial future? If you’re not, then who is? It’s time to take charge of your financial life goals.

It’s not just a cliché when you hear the words, “the sooner, the better”. But some things may be too overwhelming to tackle all at once, procrastination sets in and time flies past our best intentions.

As a professional advisor, I spend a good portion of my work hours guiding folks in their journeys to define a path that will help them strive to get to a day when they will no longer have to work for money. Ahh yes, that day when we get to choose what pleasures we want to enjoy!

Can you see it? How are you going to get there?Start. Saving. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme. Start with taking just a share off the top — enough to make it hurt a wee bit. This is a good beginning. As time moves along, investors who make this choice and commit to their savings plans find the pain of discipline far outweighs the pain of regret. 

Step Two: Educate Yourself on Financial Planning for Retirement

Next, consider reading a book or two written by a successful author on the subject of financial success planning. I can recommend a couple: if you email me, I’ll be happy to share a few titles with you!

The point is to get educated and get some help. Maybe you’re the DIY type and the help you need is self-help because you enjoy working toward this important effort. Or perhaps that’s not your cup of tea. In this case, find a guide to help you.

There are many well educated financial professionals all around you — probably way more than you realize. Find a trusted advisor to help you navigate the retirement planning process. There’s no shame in getting help! In fact, even professional athletes at the top of their games have coaches and guides to strengthen their efforts. 

Step Three: Establish a Long-Term Plan

If you start with these simple beginning steps, you will be on your way to creating a solid retirement plan. And remember, your plan doesn’t have to be over-the-top complicated to get you where you want to go.

I’m fond of reminding myself that I don’t have to eat the whole elephant at once, but rather, one bite at a time. When it comes to retirement planning, this mentality is key. You don’t need a complete financial solution for your entire life circumstance right out the gate; although for most investors, having that long-term plan should eventually be an end-game goal.

For now though, ask yourself, “do I know how much money I’ll need saved when I choose to no longer work for my money?” Get the answers unique to you and your financial situation. A skilled financial professional can help you discern that basic financial planning answer in about fifteen minutes or so, simply by guiding you through a conversation about your views and life goals.

Want to learn and know more about retirement planning? Have another burning financial question that you’d love to see answered here? Reach out to David at 410-871-4040 or fill out a contact form today!

Ask an Advisor: How do we get paid?

Transcript

Deborah: 00:008
Hi, I’m Deborah Williams. We’re with Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group, and Aaron Puckett is going to talk about our financial advisor series question. How do you get paid?

Aaron: 00:18
That’s a good question. You know, every client when they walk in the door it’s lingering in the back of their mind. They want to know how am I going to pay this person? How does that work?

Deborah: 00:27
Right.

Aaron: 00:28
One of the things that surprised me over the last 17 years of doing this, I know, probably the same with you, is how many people we talk to that maybe have been working with an advisor or have used some sort of financial products, and they had no idea, how that person was paid.

Deborah: 00:47
And sometimes the fees are high, and they had no idea still.

Aaron: 00:48
Yeah, I know. It’s surprising. I mean, I think our industry is trying to do a better job of making compensation more clear.

Deborah: 00:57
I agree.

Aaron: 00:57
But every firm and every advisor, I think maybe has a different way of talking about compensation, and so it is confusing to people. I think it’s a great question to ask.

Deborah: 01:10
Right, it’s hard to compare apples to apples.

Aaron: 01:13
Yeah. So I guess the way I usually talk with people about it in that first meeting is I’ll explain, in our industry generally you’ll find that people are either being paid a commission and that’s where a product has compensation for the advisor already built into it. Or they might be being paid on some sort of fee basis. Maybe it’s an hourly fee or a flat fee, or sometimes they’re being paid a fee that’s based upon the assets under management where there’s some sort of percentage fee that’s built in.

Deborah: 01:47
That’s transparent, that they can see on their statement.

Aaron: 01:49
Yeah, and I mean, that’s a generalization, but I think that that captures the way most firms work. There isn’t really one type though that’s best for every single client situation. You know? As we do with our clients at our firm, we look at their situation first and then we can see which model makes the most sense.

Deborah: 02:15
Right, which is the best fit for their situation.

Aaron: 02:17
Yeah. So usually in a second or third meeting, we’re coming back to them and saying, “Okay, here’s what we think works best for you, here’s why,” and make sure that they understand and that it’s clear. At the end of the day, no matter what the fee arrangement or compensation model is, the most important thing is that the clients know this was built specific to their situation and that they’re clear and they understand the engagement.

Aaron: 02:43
Then also, we don’t charge for initial consultations or going through those first few meetings, which I think is important for clients to know

Deborah: 02:49
That’s right. Yeah, they’re complimentary and then we can define the scope of the engagement.

Aaron: 02:55
That’s right. That’s right.

Deborah: 02:56
Thanks for listening. Let us know if you have any other questions

Aaron: 02:59
Yes. Please don’t hesitate to email, call or post a question on our website.

It’s Your Turn to Ask

Ask Jake: What are some common mistakes that investors make?

Whether you’re new to investing or have been investing for years, it seems like there’s always something new to learn. As regulations change, markets move, and time goes by, investors frequently face new challenges.

While there’s no way to ensure that you’re never going to make an investing mistake, there are some ways to become a better investor. Today, we’re talking to Jake Sturgill to learn more about some common mistakes that investors make – and savvy investors can avoid these pitfalls.

Here are some common investor mistakes, according to Jake:

  1. Over diversification

Many financial experts claim that diversification is one of the most important things to consider when investing. But sometimes, too much of a good thing is simply too much. 

Over-diversification is, in some ways, owning nothing by owning everything. This mistake manifests itself when you have a core portfolio, then purchase something else… and something else… All of a sudden you own a bunch of stuff that more resembles a nicely curated collection of financial trinkets as opposed to a healthy investment portfolio.

  1. Under-diversification

The flip side to over-diversification is, of course, under-diversification. This is the impulse to keep narrowing your portfolio down to “what’s working”. In theory, choosing what works is a good idea, but as the markets approach significant tops, the basket of “what’s working” typically shrinks to just one or two ideas. So, under diversification is essentially narrowing a portfolio to one idea — this is a big mistake.

Here are some examples of under-diversification:

  1. You have just one stock — maybe you inherited it or worked for a company with a stock option for 30 years. You can get wealthy by under-diversifying in this way, but you cannot stay wealthy over the long-term.
  2. You chase hot managers or sectors — hot investments can be thrilling, but they can present significant volatility and risk. While some investors can stand to dedicate a portion of their investing “pie” to these investments, they aren’t for everyone.
  3. Euphoria or Overconfidence

In summary, euphoria or overconfidence is really just greed. When you get caught up in euphoria, you lose sense of the principal risk. When you forget about risk to principal, then you instead worry about being outperformed.

It’s not uncommon for euphoria or overconfidence to pair with Mistake 2: under-diversification, especially if you’re chasing hot markets. If you’re prone to investor overconfidence, it’s imperative to align yourself with an advisor who knows when to anchor you to a more sound investing strategy.

  1. Panic 

And of course, the opposite of overconfidence is panic. Both stem from an emotional investing attitude and can be detrimental to your portfolio’s performance.

Panic is the failure of faith in the face of the apocalypse du jour. Just as it’s wise to avoid fear-driven panic selling during extremely volatile periods in financial markets, it’s also wise to avoid greed-driven euphoric buying during extremely bullish periods — again, it all boils down to avoiding mixing emotions with investments!

Panic can be sneaky and almost always rationalizes itself. You might think: I have to get out until we see who wins the election, I need to get past depression, wait for this deficit to get under control, for inflation to get under control, for unemployment comes down.

If you look hard enough for a reason to panic, you’ll find one. For many investors, the source of their panic is driven by current events.

Bottom line? It is perfectly normal and okay to feel fear about current events/political climate/market performance but it is generally not advisable to act on the fear.

  1. Speculating when you think you’re still investing

When you’re investing, at some point you’ll probably hear the siren song of a new era and be tempted to chase hot price trends instead of evaluating investments on their intrinsic values.

Remember, an investment is an identification of value. Speculation is a bet on the continuation of a price trend. Speculatory behavior is not a suitable strategy for most people.

This ties into the whole euphoria/under-diversification class of mistakes — you chase what’s hot, what’s working right now. Performance chasing can be thrilling, but again, it’s probably not going to play out well next quarter, next year, next decade.

Some recent examples of hot trends include: tech stocks in 1999, real estate in 2005, oil in 2008, gold in 2010. Investors look to recent patterns: typically investments that have done well for the past 5 or so years, and assume that this record is strong enough to bring them success over time. Speculating on hot trends always seems intelligent at the moment, but can be costly in the long-run.

  1. Letting your cost basis dictate your investment decisions

One common mistake you might make is asking your investments to behave differently because of what you paid for them. After all, you put in the investment; now you want the payout. This kind of thinking can cloud your judgement and make it difficult to know when to cash in or offload under-performing investments.

Some investors make great fortunes by owning one spectacularly successful stock, but end up giving it all back by refusing cash in and to pay capital gains taxes on the earnings. In reality, capital gains taxes are lower than ordinary income taxes, but some investors lose sight of the big picture when they view the tax as a loss on their big gain.

Of course, there’s always the temptation to hang onto a poorly performing investment for too long because of the mentality that you need to stick it out long enough to earn back what you put into it. Maybe you’ll earn it back, maybe you won’t. In many cases, your money would do better elsewhere.

Want to avoid these investor mistakes?

It’s hard to avoid investor mistakes, since most of avoiding investor mistakes simply means keeping a clear head and considering your investments in purely objective terms. Removing emotions from money is a challenge!

Instead of trying to check yourself and risking the primary investor mistakes, look for a financial advisor who can help you to stay on track and act as a voice of reason when you are uncertain.

If you’re ready to approach your investing with a new perspective, contact Jake today to identify the investor mistakes you’re most likely to make and how to avoid them in the future!

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio.  Diversification does not protect against market risk. 

Ask an Advisor: Which is better, a Roth IRA or a regular IRA?

Transcript

Aaron: 00:09
Hi, my name’s Aaron Puckett, and I’m here with David Hemler. We’re with Puckett and Sturgill Financial Group, and this is the next video in our series called, Ask an Advisor. And the question we received that we’re answering today is, which is better, a Roth IRA or a regular IRA?

Dave: 00:28
Yeah, we get that one a lot too. And you know, it’s a question that requires a little bit of effort and thinking, but the generalities of that question are, do we need and will we get a tax deduction by using the traditional IRA approach? Or would it be better for us to forego that tax deduction and utilize a Roth? And as you know, I mean the Roth has a lot of power there, so when we’re talking to younger folks, most of the time we’re going to lean toward that Roth option more than the traditional.

Aaron: 01:04
Yeah, I mean age has a lot to do with it.

Dave: 01:07
Age, by all means.

Aaron: 01:07
Income level.

Dave: 01:08
Income level. Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Aaron: 01:10
A lot of people don’t know the eligibility is different for each of them.

Dave: 01:13
That’s right. So you very well may, if you’re covered by an employer plan, you may not be eligible because of your income level to do a deductible IRA, and you might not be able to do a Roth.

Aaron: 01:24
Yeah.

Dave: 01:24
And in some ways, what we would share with folks is, that’s an envious position to be in, because that would indicate that you have a high-level of earnings if you’re not eligible.

Aaron: 01:34
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen with this Roth versus traditional decision, is that people don’t evaluate fully what both options are.

Dave: 01:44
Right.

Aaron: 01:44
And I’ve talked to plenty of people that I ask them, “Well, why is it that you never funded a Roth IRA in the past?” Are they on acting on some sort of information they heard from a friend that wasn’t even accurate?

Dave: 01:57
Right.

Aaron: 01:58
So I think the most important thing is to talk to an advisor, and really kind of wrestle through which of these is better. The other thing that’s an interesting point with Roth versus traditional, there are things you can do with a Roth before retirement, that you can’t accomplish with a traditional IRA.

Dave: 02:18
Right. So the monies that you contribute to your Roth are actually monies that are after tax contributions, so the government doesn’t penalize you if you wanted to use those monies at any time.

Aaron: 02:29
Prior to retirement.

Dave: 02:30
Yeah, that’s right, prior to retirement. And with the onset of some of the rule changes, and now many employer plans offer a Roth option within their 401k, their 403(b)s, and certainly something for folks to get a better understanding of and how that fits into their planning and their goals.

Aaron: 02:46
Yeah, it’s important to have the conversation and really explore both those options.

Dave: 02:51
It is, it is very much so. And we thank you for that question today, and we look forward to answering more questions for you in the future. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us and send us an email, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

It’s Your Turn to Ask

Ask an Advisor: What does a good financial advisor do?

Transcript

Aaron: 00:09
Hi, my name is Aaron Puckett. I’m a financial advisor with Puckett and Sturgill Financial Group, here with Jacob Sturgill and this is our Ask An Advisor series where we have a chance to hear common questions or receive questions in through our website and provide answers, so question that we’re going to address today is what does a good advisor do?

Jake: 00:32
That’s a great question, Aaron, and so what I think a good financial advisor does is really boiled down into four main things. The first thing is to clarify your financial goals, right? That’s just simply to say who is it and what is it and when is it that you want to do whatever it is that you want to do. From there it’s to take a look at your current situation and define your current reality and that’s just taking a comprehensive look at all of the factors of where you are today and then to plot the course of how do we utilize those assets and where you are today to get you to your financial goal. That’s the financial plan.

Jake: 01:16
But we all know that life isn’t linear and so this is point three, is it’s really to make the course corrections along the way because I’m sure your life hasn’t gone in a perfect … And you’ve had some surprises along the way, so it’s to provide the course corrections along the way. So what you notice here is I left the investment component out to last because well, investment management is important and is a core component of what we do, the investments really need to be designed to fit the financial plan and to change when the financial plan dictates not when the markets or the news make it seem like we need to make changes, so to fit them into the plan and not the other way around.

Aaron: 02:02
Yeah, so setting my goal, helping me understand where I am, what I need to do to get there, but then maintaining that relationship along the way so that we’re constantly changing and amending the plan and helping prevent any missteps along the way. Yeah, and really, I mean behind all of it is the relationship because a good advisor is going to have a good relationship built upon trust and understanding with their clients and if you have a good relationship with an advisor, I think it allows them to be a good advisor.

Jake: 02:36
Exactly.

Aaron: 02:36
But if there’s not a good relationship there then I don’t think that advisor is able to do a good job.

Jake: 02:43
Exactly.

Aaron: 02:44
Thanks for sending us your questions. I hope that you won’t be slow to call us or e-mail us if you have any questions. We want to provide good answers so thank you for joining us.

It’s Your Turn to Ask

 

 

Ask Aaron: What Steps can I Take to Manage My Investments?

As an investor, you want your investments to perform well and are poised to help you meet your financial goals. Today we’re talking to our own Aaron Puckett, CFP® about some steps that you can take to manage your investments.

Diversification is Key

Even if you’re new to investing, you’ve probably already heard someone mention diversification as a way to position your investments to handle market fluctuations and unexpected loss. But it can be tough to understand exactly what diversification is, how it can help, and how to employ a diversification strategy in your portfolio.

A diversified portfolio is one that is comprised of a variety of investments. One main advantage to the diversified portfolio is that you have the ability to choose investments all along the risk spectrum. This means that if you are interested in a particularly high risk investment, you can balance that investment with other lower risk ones in seeking to insulate your portfolio from total shock should the high risk investment play out badly.

But, of course, all investments carry with them some type of risk. Even supposed “low risk” investments can perform poorly or suffer with a market downturn. So, risk shouldn’t be the ultimate test of whether an investment makes the cut for your diversification strategy or not.

Paths to Diversification

It’s important to note that even a portfolio with seeming diversity may not actually be all that diversified. For example, investing in a bunch of corporate stocks might feel like a diversified activity – after all, there are a variety of differently sized brands across many industries, all with different stock offerings. However, filling your portfolio with a whole bunch of one type of financial product still leaves you vulnerable to weaknesses specific to that financial product.

To achieve true diversification, you want to consider a variety of different financial products with which to fill your portfolio. This mix might include stock products, bonds, and other investment vehicles.

Or you may prefer to participate in a managed fund, like a mutual fund, that pools your investment with those of other investors so that you can participate in a selection of investment opportunities that would otherwise be closed to a single investor. In addition to attended portfolio management, a managed fund generally offers simple way to diversify without a lot of extra effort.

Choosing Your Diversification Strategy

There’s no right path that offers the perfect blend of diversified investments for every investor. In fact, there are a lot of factors that go into determining exactly which portfolio mix is preferable for your investment activity.

Factors like your long-term savings goals, investment threshold, risk tolerance, and value orientation play a large role in narrowing the investment field and developing a custom diversified portfolio. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

You want to work with a professional financial advisor, like a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, who can help you to connect the dots between where you are now and where you want to be financially. Your advisor should ask questions, not only about your long-term financial goals, but about your personality and your lifestyle to get the best feel for which diversification strategy may likely bring you both confidence and help you pursue desired financial performance.

To learn more about how a CFP® professional can make a difference in your investment strategy and long-term financial outlook, contact Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group today to schedule a discovery meeting with one of our five CFP® professionals!

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Stock and mutual fund investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

Ask an Advisor: What does your first meeting with your financial planner look like?

Transcript

Paul: 00:09
Hi. Welcome to Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group’s Ask An Advisor segment. I’m here today with Aaron Puckett, certified financial planner with Puckett & Sturgill. We’re here to talk today about when you come into the office and you’re going to have an initial meeting with a financial planner, what’s that look like, and what do we think? So we’re going to have a little discussion about that, and talk about what you should expect.

Paul: 00:31
I know one of the first things when someone walks into the office is, they’ll come in, they’ll maybe wait for a minute while we gather our things and one of our administrative staff lets us know they’re here, and we’ll sit down in the conference room. What’s the first thing that comes up?

Aaron: 00:47
Yeah, I think this is one of the questions that people get nervous. They’re coming in, they don’t know what to expect. Maybe they never met with us before, met with an advisor before.

Aaron: 00:57
So first thing we’re going to do is usually give them a little bit of a high level view of how our firm works, what it exactly is it that they should expect from an advisor. We usually explain how our compensation models work, so they know how they’re-

Aaron: 01:14
How we’re being paid, how it kind of works in our industry. And then it’s going to be a lot of time for us to just kind of connect with them. I consider that first meeting as a time for them to get to know us, us to get to know them, and for us to just see if there’s a connection. Most of the time we’re not really giving a lot of advice in that first meeting.

Paul: 01:36
Yeah. It’s essentially information gathering, get to know you type of situation, and sometimes there’s an organizational component to it because folks may or may not have all their ducks in a row, and that’s okay. They may not be organized. That’s what we’re here for.

Aaron: 01:50
Yes.

Paul: 01:50
To help create that relationship where we can help you organize and put everything into one place, and make it makes sense.

Aaron: 01:57
Yeah.

Paul: 01:57
And I think that’s one of the things we love to do in that first meeting.

Aaron: 01:59
I’ve heard you call it financial triage sometimes with people. You know, we’re trying to find out what are the most pressing issues? What are the things that we need to really try to address? I guess the one key component to every first meeting that happens is we schedule a second meeting.

Paul: 02:16
Yes, yeah, yeah.

Aaron: 02:16
Because you just don’t accomplish everything in one meeting.

Paul: 02:19
Yeah, and the truth is, and I think that folks should understand this as we get to know each other, it’s a relationship business, and we don’t expect to make decisions that first meeting. We expect those decisions to be made out into the future, and I think that’s what, I think if there’s anything that anyone would take away from this conversation is that this is not pressure, this is not some sort of sales, sales pitch. This is can we help you, can we get your situation figured out and let’s hopefully make, let’s not make decisions today. We’ll make-

Aaron: 02:46
That’s an important point. We don’t ever ask a client to make a decision while they’re sitting in the office.

Paul: 02:53
Right.

Aaron: 02:53
You know, we’re always sending them home and saying “Take your time. Think on this.”

Paul: 02:57
Yeah.

Aaron: 02:58
“Sleep on it.”

Paul: 02:59
Yeah.

Aaron: 02:59
“Talk to your spouse about it,” and then we get back together to implement things.

Paul: 03:03
I think that’s a great synopsis of a first meeting, Aaron.

Aaron: 03:06
Please don’t hesitate to ask your question. Ask through the website, email us, call us, we look forward to connecting with you and it’s our pleasure. So please, give us a call.

It’s Your Turn to Ask

 

 

Ask David: What are the Top Considerations to Make Regarding My Financial Decisions?

Sifting through your financial decisions requires attention to detail and management of more than a few moving pieces. Today, we’re talking with advisor David Hemler, MS, MPAS®, CFP® about some of the primary considerations to make when thinking through financial decisions, big and small.

Consideration 1: Risk

Are you considering doing something with some of your money? What’s the risk? Everything has a risk and usually if something sounds too good to be true, it often is.

Your financial advisor can help you navigate the potential risks associated with your financial decisions, whether you’re planning to make a large purchase in the near future or are considering your retirement savings plans.

Consideration 2: Taxes

Many folks who have gotten to know me have likely heard me say; “risk and taxes, risk and taxes…” These are two main factors of working in financial planning.

While paying taxes is a certainty, overpaying on your taxes doesn’t have to be. Financial planning and maintaining a cohesive tax strategy can prevent you from paying too much in taxes on your investments, returns, and withdrawals. Your financial advisor can be an invaluable partner in determining a tax strategy that may save you money over time.

Consideration 3: Allocation

Allocation refers to the areas where you have your wealth allocated. Most people consider their stocks, bonds, cash and real estate investments as the primary areas where their assets are concentrated. But it’s important to know where your assets are distributed and how this lines up with your risk tolerance or risk acceptance and tax strategy.

There is no one size fits all approach to allocation planning, and it’s important to talk to your financial advisor about different ways you might allocate your wealth. Age-based investing and general rules of thumb come into play here, too, so it’s a good idea to work with an advisor who has a solid understanding of your situation and goals, as well as the investment options you have before you.

Consideration 4: Diversification

In some ways, diversification is similar to allocation, but with a little more nuance. You can think of allocation as the way your assets are distributed throughout larger baskets and diversification as the components that make up those baskets.

For example, if you have stock investments, you wouldn’t want to put all of your investment into a single stock. Instead, you’d split your investments between various stocks and fund options to build a more robust portfolio.

More diversity in your financial makeup makes your finances more likely to withstand market fluctuations and varying risk levels across your asset allocations.

Consideration 5: Fees

There are fees associated with many of your investments and financial activities. Sometimes, it can seem like choosing a lower fee investment is better than a higher fee one, if the returns from each are equal.

But, as with many things in finance, things aren’t always as they appear. The best way to avoid tying your finances up in unnecessary fees is to work with an advisor who can help you to understand the various fees, including hidden fees, that your financial decisions might incur.

Consideration 6: Faith

Lastly, one of the last things to consider in making your financial decisions is your faith in the decisions that you’ve made. While emotional investing isn’t the ticket to reaching your goals, having faith in the process is an essential part of managing your wealth.

When you consider a dollar, think about how you might invest it, how long it can stay there, and how ups and downs might bring you a return or loss on that single dollar. Now, apply this principle to your financial decision making process and you’ll start to see how the faith aspect works when it comes to wealth management.

Do you have money questions? Contact Puckett & Sturgill Financial Group to learn about how we can help you make informed financial decisions with confidence. Be well and prosper!

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.