Finding Your Financial Silver Linings in Difficult Times: How a Financial Advisor Can Help

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COVID-19 and the resulting recession had many households reassessing their financial situation. The challenging times forced many to accept the reality that some things in life are often outside of our control. They also helped many appreciate the simple things they had taken for granted, such as the ability to work, freely travel, and spend time with family and friends.

Although the period was tough for many of us, it provided opportunities to practice gratitude for all that we had in our lives and redefine what was truly important to us. For instance, some chose to thoughtfully reassess their financial future, correcting what hadn’t worked in the past and bringing it in line with what they wanted their personal financial future to look like.

We can choose to find the silver linings during difficult times. Here are some silver linings that may resonate with you:

  • Enjoying time with immediate family
  • Learning proficiency in new technology or apps (i.e., video conferencing)
  • Practicing mindfulness

Why is it important to try and seek out the positives in our daily life? Finding your personal silver linings (both financial and non-financial) could help bring peace of mind during periods of great uncertainty.

Finding your financial peace of mind

When you feel financially secure and you are living inside of your value and belief system, it can help bring greater clarity and purpose to other parts of your life. This peace of mind may not be easy to find, however.

So how can you find your financial peace of mind amid a storm over which you have little control? It starts with getting back in the driver’s seat and taking small, manageable steps toward a better financial future. This is where a financial advisor can help you with your journey.

Do I really need to hire a financial advisor to help me?

With so many financial resources and information readily available on the internet, you may be wondering if you really need to hire a professional. Many people believe they don’t have the budget to bring an advisor on board, and with plenty of DIY information available today online, it’s easy to think, “I can do this myself!”

A financial advisor can not only help you navigate life’s key financial decisions but also bring their knowledge and experience to help you identify your priorities and guide you toward your financial goals.

Why do I need a financial advisor?

Here are three reasons seeking professional advice when it comes to your financial security is a smart move:

  • In our experience, it is nearly impossible for people to be objective when it comes to making their own financial decisions, because sometimes our emotional biases can make it difficult to look at our own personal financial situation with clarity. This is why sometimes we need an outside perspective, and a professional advisor can help provide the objective accountability and “course correction” that you may need to help achieve your goals.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all advice in financial planning. Each person has their own unique set of circumstances, and general financial advice cannot possibly take into consideration all of your unique variables. No two people are alike. Money is personal, and it requires a personalized approach. A financial advisor can help you recognize when you may need to adjust your spending, balance personal needs versus wants, and identify ways to be more mindful about your finances.
  • Even in times of financial uncertainty, a professional advisor can help you look for that silver lining in your financial planning, which may include opportunities like: proper asset allocation, socially responsible investing, Roth IRA conversions, and cash flow management.

How do I find a financial advisor?

The integrity of the advisor and the organization should be your main focus.

  • Ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations
  • Visit cfp.net or letsmakeaplan.org to research Certified Financial Planner® professionals in your area
  • Do a background check on your potential advisor through investor.gov
  • Once you have a shortlist of potential candidates, here are some questions to ask:
    • What services do you provide?
    • What type of clients do you work with?
    • How often do you meet with clients? How often will we communicate?
    • How are you compensated? Fees (hourly or a percentage of assets)? Commission? Both?
    • Are you a fiduciary?

The bottom line

We believe happiness is best achieved when we’re able to focus our time and attention on what matters most to us that is within our control and most closely aligned with our values and beliefs. Working with an experienced financial advisor can not only help us stay focused on our priorities but also help us find our financial silver linings in challenging times.

This commentary contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax, legal or investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Clients should obtain their own tax, legal or investment advice based on their circumstances. The material is based on sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

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