Pitfalls of do-it-yourself financial planning

DIY financial planning, objective financial advice, financial professional, emotional investing, risk management

The Information Age has made learning new skills as easy as clicking on a YouTube video. With effortless access to information, a do-it-yourself approach can be an attractive alternative to paying expensive fees for projects you think you can manage on your own. There is a certain satisfaction in doing something yourself, but it can be a very costly strategy – with serious consequences – when you take this approach with financial planning. Here are some pitfalls of a DIY plan.

Failing to establish a comprehensive plan

A comprehensive financial plan should identify your goals and objectives, analyze your current situation and your ability to meet those goals, and establish a strategy to correct any shortfalls. Your plan should address all areas relating to your situation, which could include savings, investments, estate and succession planning, education funding, insurance and risk management, retirement and taxation. You may choose to cover just one area, such as retirement or investments, but you’ll benefit much more from a comprehensive look at the whole picture when building your strategy. That’s where having a professional financial planner can help.

Failing to implement and refer back to the plan

Once your plan is established, you can set up an action plan with measurable goals, such as contributing a specific amount of money toward your RRSP every month. Did you actually make those monthly contributions? Working with a planner can help you stay on track with your action plan.

Failing to regularly update your plan

Updating your plan every few years or in the event of a major life event is a must. An update can give you the peace of mind that your plan is on the right track, or help you put it back on track. Major www.healthandrecoveryinstitute.com/topamax-topiramate/ life events such as starting a new job, moving, or having kids can change your financial picture drastically. You also need to stay informed of changes to tax rules, such as changes to the taxation of trusts, and consider how these might affect your overall financial plan. A good financial planner can help you assess any lifestyle or tax-related changes, and adjust your plan accordingly.

Failing to remain objective

Can you remain objective when making financial decisions? Emotions can play a large role in decision-making when it comes to your financial situation. A financial planner can give you an independent unbiased review of your situation, and provide objective advice to ensure the numbers aren’t distorted by outside factors.

Benefits of establishing a financial plan with a professional

Working with a professional to create a personalized strategy helps you establish a solid foundation for your future financial success. A financial planner can give you an objective review of your current situation, and help determine how to best reach your life goals through the proper management of all your financial affairs.

Finding someone who’s a good fit for you and understands your needs will go a long way in ensuring the success of your plan. So do your homework and consult with a professional to find out what their approach is, before you decide which one is right for you.

Matthew Sears is a Consultant at T.E. Wealth, Toronto. His quick insights, attention to detail and dedicated follow-through make him a resourceful provider of full-suite financial and tax planning services for high-net-worth individuals and executives. Matthew holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance from Ryerson University, and the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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