The 3 Word Personal Financial “Red Flag”
I’ve been in the financial industry since I graduated from college in 1987. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase “I’m all set”, I myself would be “all set”. You see, when people are approached to talk about their finances, they often throw up the “I’m all set” defense - something to shoo the financial professional away. If you find yourself saying this, you should take note of your 3 word personal financial red flag: “I’m all set.” Are you really? Do you know for sure?
Why do people say “I’m all set”? Often times, it is out of fear. Fear that they would have to expose they don’t understand something. Fear that they might have to admit they made a mistake with money in the past. Fear that they might expose a weakness in their planning, such as not having a will or life insurance. Fear that they might be bombarded with a sales pitch rather than a true wealth conversation. Fear that there is work to be done. Even if a person is truly “all set”, it can be helpful to get a fresh perspective and second opinion and know for sure.
Other times, people stay with advisors who are not doing well by them because “he’s a nice guy”. That’s the 4 word personal financial red flag! Would you stay with a doctor who prescribed the wrong medicine because “he’s a nice guy”? Would you stay with a lawyer because they did not represent you in a legal action? Of course not. Yet, people feel that, even though they have been dissatisfied with their financial advisor’s service that “he’s a nice guy” is enough.
What would happen if you were invited to a complimentary wealth conversation? Just you and the financial advisor (spouse/partner if desired) and you were the only agenda? Your life, your concerns, your fears, your beliefs, your triumphs, your past, your goals and, even more importantly, your future? What if the professional really listened to you instead of talking at you? What if you found out you really weren’t all set, but that there were some simple actions you could take to enhance your financial life? What if you found out you really were all set? (A true professional would tell you that). Would that wealth conversation be meaningful? Could you feel more confident in your finances then? It’s important to know for sure what your goals are and how to get there and, if you have veered off course, how you might get back on track.
Did you know that as a client you have the right to do business with whomever you wish (provided they are licensed to do business in your state) and that your best interests should be first and foremost? Get a second opinion. Market conditions change, your life and lifestyle may as well. If it’s not all about you, it should be.
Your wealth conversation awaits.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. Seek advice from a qualified financial professional before taking any action in regard to your finances.
Todd A. Slingerland, CFP®
6 Tower Place Albany, NY 12203
(518) 867-4000 x105 [email protected]