When to get financial advice
November 21, 2020.
Some of the most common comments I get from friends when we talk about my profession as a financial advisor is “I’ll go see you when I have money” or “I’d like to sit down in a few years”. As it turns out, I rarely get the opportunity to have these conversations. Why not? It’s not like all of these people didn’t start investing or the years didn’t go by. The problem is that the time didn’t seem right to them then and it still doesn’t seem right today. So, when is the right time to seek out professional financial advice from someone you trust?
I think we should explore a big misconception before we tackle this question. Far too many people think that advisors only exist to help people with a lot of money to invest. While this is partially true(some advisors and firms have investment minimums and only deal with certain clients), there are also many great advisors out there ready to help and advise people in various situations. This misconception causes many to delay reaching out for professional financial advice. Either they feel they don’t have enough to invest, or they have other financial priorities and don’t think the advice will relate to their current goals.
The reality is that thoughtful financial advice is useful in every step of someone’s financial lifecycle. Meaningful conversations with a good advisor should range from how to manage your cash flow and paying off debt to building up financial security and starting a savings plan for retirement. Each stage of life deserves good advice in order to make the most of each one and prepare for the next.
Another reason some may be delaying good financial advice is because they aren’t willing to change. They might feel like the advice will somehow force them to stop something they enjoy. When people consider “Stop drinking Starbucks and you’ll have money for RRSPs” or “Stop spending so much on your kids” as advice, it’s easy to think that following advice will be more tolerable tomorrow, which simply isn’t true.
The goal of good advice is to work with you towards your goals. If caffeine and your kids are what make you happiest, that’s ok. It just means that you’ll need to get creative in the ways you fund your future goals. The longer you wait before starting to figure out a way to do both, the harder it will be for you and your future advisor to get the results you want.
So, the short answer is that it’s always a good time to get professional financial advice, at any stage of life, for whatever financial goals you have for yourself. The long answer is that meaningful financial planning is a long process. Some think that financial advice or planning is a magic pill that fixes things overnight but it’s not. You will only get what you put in and it can take a while to see results. So, starting early enough to see it through makes the most sense.
My next article will focus on what types of advice or advisor you may need given certain situations.
This writing is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax or personalized financial advice. If you are not sure how to proceed with a request for further information, seek help from a professional. Any opinions expressed are my own and may not necessarily reflect those of Louisbourg Investments.
Marcel LeBlanc, BBA, CFP is a Financial Planner with Louisbourg Investments. You can find more from him on Facebook and LinkedIn. Comments or questions may be submitted to Marcel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or he may be reached at (506) 383-5204.