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Do-it-Yourself Financial Planning: More Expensive Than You Think

Do-it-Yourself Financial Planning: More Expensive Than You Think

3 min read

There are a lot of routine tasks that most folks can do on their own, if they so choose: Home repairs, cooking, garden maintenance, and so on. Unfortunately, many people also lump “financial planning” into the DIY category. They assume they can create a decent retirement savings plan and make good investing choices with just a little reading and research.

While it’s certainly possible to manage your own financial future, I don’t recommend doing it without professional guidance. Here’s why:

1.     A financial planning professional offers a fresh perspective.

Have you ever struggled with your next move while playing checkers or chess, only to have someone walk into the room and immediately point out a strategy you hadn’t even seen? That person probably looked at the game board from a different point of view, and instantly noticed a solution. Financial planners can do the same with your money. We face financial challenges every day, so we may see smart money moves you may not have visualized on your own.

2.     The right tools (and expertise) matter.
When I tackle a home repair, it’s not unusual for me to make four trips to Home Depot in one Saturday. I may not have the right plumbing wrench or the correct size drill bit, or maybe I measured once and cut twice instead of vice versa. I’m betting you’ve been there, done that.

If you goof up a sink repair, you may face some lost time, irritation, and a mess to clean up. But if you make a mistake on your 401(k) investments, or choosing life insurance, you could be paying for decades to come. Extra trips to Home Depot can’t fix those kinds of catastrophes. On the other hand, financial advisors have access to research, planning tools, and professional insights that you can’t glean from reading money magazines. Our expertise may save you time, money, and a lot of aggravation.

3.     Replacing your financial planner (if you ever need to) is less expensive—and less painful—than replacing your spouse.
A lot of couples have different ideas about spending, saving, and investing their money. No matter how much they talk about it, they just can’t find common ground.

In those situations, a financial planner can serve as an objective third party. A planner can help couples revisit their shared goals and values. He or she can provide a reality check about problem spending or lackluster investing choices. A good planner may even be able to reduce the number of marital fights you might have about money. And if you decide down the road that your advisor isn’t a good fit, you can always find a new one without overturning your entire life. Can you say the same about your marriage?

4.     A financial professional helps you stay on track toward your goals. I have a personal trainer—Meaghan–to help keep me in shape. There are many mornings when I’d rather not wake up at 5 a.m. to exercise. However, because I know Meaghan is waiting, I show up. Similarly, financial planners help you “show up” for the financial goals you’ve set in your life. Planners can help you create a financial road map (not unlike an exercise regimen) to follow, and keep you accountable for your money choices.

In many ways, I’d say a financial planner trumps a personal trainer. (All due respect, Meaghan. Please don’t give me extra pushups!) For one thing, you sweat less with us. Also, financial planners do most of the heavy lifting. We’ll ask you to be an active participant in your financial life, but we’ll spot you all along the way.

The next time you procrastinate about a big financial task, or think “I can just do it myself,” take another look at this list. Or catch up with me at Home Depot.

 

Important Disclosure Information

Please remember to contact RegentAtlantic if there are any changes in your personal or financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing our previous recommendations and services, or if you wish to impose, add, or modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment management services. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for your review upon request. This presentation is not a substitute for personalized advice from RegentAtlantic.  This article is current only as of the date on which it was sent.  The statements and opinions expressed are, however, subject to change without notice based on market and other conditions and may differ from opinions expressed in other businesses and activities of RegentAtlantic.  Descriptions of RegentAtlantic’s process and strategies are based on general practice and we may make exceptions in specific cases.

Please note that RegentAtlantic provides financial planning services for a fee.  This creates an incentive for RegentAtlantic to recommend the use of a financial planning professional.  There is not guarantee that the use of a professional financial planner will improve your chances of meeting your financial goals.

Important disclosure information

Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, including the loss of money invested. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including the investments or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by RegentAtlantic Capital, LLC (“RegentAtlantic”) will be profitable.

Please remember to contact RegentAtlantic if there are any changes in your personal or financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing our previous recommendations and services, or if you wish to impose, add, or modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment management services. A copy of our current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for your review upon request.

This article is not a substitute for personalized advice from RegentAtlantic. This article is current only as of the date on which it was sent. The statements and opinions expressed are, however, subject to change without notice based on market and other conditions and may differ from opinions expressed in other businesses and activities of RegentAtlantic. Descriptions of RegentAtlantic’s process and strategies are based on general practice and we may make exceptions in specific cases.

RegentAtlantic does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult with a legal and or tax professional of your choosing prior to implementing any of the strategies discussed in this article.

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