Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Don’t Take Your Eye off The Ball

In the game of golf, it’s not uncommon for friends of a new golfer to repeatedly tell them to “keep their eye on the ball” or “keep their head down” after they dribble their fairway shot fifty or sixty yards up the fairway. Repeatedly hitting the long ball requires concentration and practice. If you don’t keep your eye on the ball, the results will be unpredictable. If you don’t spend some time at the driving range or get some lessons, you’ll likely not improve.

Success financially also requires concentration and focus on your goals. Help from a professional can be extremely beneficial. Many people fear that hiring some help will cost too much. Yet, if you hire the right advisor, the benefits can be huge. While taking the big step to get help from a financial advisor is, in many cases critical, it’s only a start. If you take your eye off the ball, you may find yourself in the rough or the sand trap with a sub-par financial future staring you in the face.

Periodic financial reviews can be instrumental in keeping you on track. It’s not unusual for us to see financial clients stray from their original plans. You might assume that in most cases, clients spend too much and face the prospect of running out of money. While that happens often, we also see the opposite case.

Some conservative clients are so worried about running out of money, that they are overly frugal. They have enough money to take an occasional overseas trip, eat out more often or buy a new car but hesitate to do so out of fear their money won’t last. They need a professional advisor to tell them it’s OK to spend.

We’ve also seen cases where we tell people they have sufficient funds, even encourage them to spend more and then later have to pull in the reins a bit as they go overboard.

As part of our investment services annual contracts, we provide our clients with phone/email financial consulting and an annual “mini-analysis” of their choice. They can request a “quick retirement” analysis, estate plan review, insurance review or other analysis of choice during each twelve-month contract year. These reviews are essential to keeping them on track to achieve their goals.

We are in some very dynamic times. It’s very difficult to predict the future. A one-time financial plan can be very beneficial. But things are constantly changing. To ensure ongoing success an occasional tune-up, a trip to the driving range or a quick lesson can help ensure long-term success and help you keep your eye on the ball.


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