We live in an age where information is abundant and cheap. How many of us read mainstream media headlines instead of seeking expert opinions and doing research? How many times have you gone to Google or YouTube to find answers to your questions or watch a “how to” clip?
This may be OK for replacing a headlight on the car or finding which of the 50+ microwaves has the best reviews. But Google, like WebMD, cannot protect you from being misled, even if inadvertently. So when it comes to really important matters like your financial future (or your health for that matter) is self-diagnosing worth the risk? Or should you seek professional help?
Here are 6 major problems with thinking that self-diagnosing your financial life is a good idea.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. Plain and simple. Professionals get paid and credentialed to be more educated than those not in the profession of giving specific, personalized advice.
- You’re emotional. In times of stress, it is best to have someone between you and your knee-jerk reactions, to help assess any number of options and ensure you do your best to limit mistakes typically made during emotional times.
- There’s a domino effect to our decisions. Our banking, our insurance, the taxes, investments, and estate plan are all intertwined. It’s like a puzzle that needs to fit together. So sometimes, your strategy to solve one problem may have the unintended consequence of producing two more problems.
- One size does not fit all. This is the problem with water-cooler talk at work or reading publications that state something like, “You need 2 million dollars to retire these days.” That’s an example of a generalization that doesn’t take into account anything personal about you, your vision or your wealth.
- Opinions should not be viewed as advice. Be a critic. Accept that what you hear and read is often either news or opinion, not personalized advice.
- We have to make assumptions. The only sure things in life are taxes and dying. For everything else, we have to make projections or assumptions on how things will go. Planning requires a process for tracking progress and adjusting assumptions over time. My experience tells me, that’s a lot easier said than done.
If there are parts of your financial life that you haven’t felt motivated to seek professional advice on, that’s OK. But you really don’t want to get important financial matters wrong.
So before self-diagnosing and making important decisions, some of which may be irrevocable, consider a complimentary consultation with us. It’s an initial investment of your time, NOT your money. Give us a call. Let us be that second set of eyes that looks at your personal plan and gives immediate feedback. We are here to align your personal values, vision and wealth.