Five Reasons to Consider Choosing a Financial Adviser

Erika Milosevich, Investment Program Manager for North Shore Investments, an arm of North Shore Bank

6/27/2016 1:00:00 PM
Five Reasons to Consider Choosing a Financial Adviser

Money can be an emotional and difficult topic to discuss, deal with and even to think about, but having a strong financial strategy for your future can make all the difference. These days, investing and creating your own financial plan seems like something a responsible adult should be able to turn into a DIY project. Financial planners seem like something only millionaires can afford, or even need. Yet, with all the 24-hour business news networks screaming headlines to “Sell, Sell, Sell!” or to “Buy, Buy, Buy!” and the endless amount of information available on the Internet, it can be confusing and downright impossible to decide which intelligence to act on.
Working with a certified financial planner can make good sense for even the most successful business person. An adviser takes a holistic approach to your saving, spending and retirement readiness, separates emotion from the big picture, and will help you decipher the facts from the fiction when it comes to preparing for your future. Here are five things to consider:
  1. A good financial adviser will get to know and understand you. They will make a point of learning your perceptions of money and what your comfort level is when it comes to investing. If you continue to work with the same adviser over the years, they can grow and change your investment plan as your priorities grow and change.
  2. While an experienced financial adviser ‘gets’ you, they aren’t you. An adviser can act as your sounding board without being emotionally tied to your money like you are. They have the objectivity to help push you to make the hard decisions you might not be able to make by yourself, such as when it is time to give up on an investment or when you need to push through a down market to the other side without selling.
  3. A financial adviser can help you anticipate what retirement will look like for you. Everyone’s plan for the future is different. A financial adviser can help you determine your specific saving goals. What do you want your lifestyle to be like? Are you planning to travel in your retirement? Do you think you’ll eventually downsize or become a snowbird? How does health care fit into the picture, what do the numbers look like and what saving options do you have for that? And – most importantly – does your spouse or partner share your retirement goals, or is it time for a more in-depth conversation about future plans?
  4. After helping you set specific goals, a financial adviser can help you stay focused on achieving them. It’s easy to stray from an investment plan, for example, if a down market makes you nervous and itching to sell. A new study by the University of Missouri even suggests that the very impulse to protect yourself, called loss aversion, is predictive of other investment errors. People who are especially emotional and loss averse are more likely to make the mistake of moving their holdings when they shouldn’t and also of being overconfident about their decision to do so. CNBC recently reported that over the last three decades, U.S. stock investors have trailed the S&P 500 by more than 7 percentage points annually. The reason? Instead of hanging on to their investments in challenging times, they trade in and out “at exactly the wrong times.” A financial adviser can help talk you off the proverbial edge when you are feeling the desire to act impulsively.
  5. A good financial adviser won’t just help you save; they’ll help you spend. You’d be amazed at the number of people who are so focused on saving for the future, they hesitate to live in the present. A certified financial planner can help you assess how much you can smartly withdraw and when. The idea is to take the trip of a lifetime, buy your dream home, contribute to your children’s education – and enjoy life!

At North Shore Bank and North Shore Investment Services, we work closely with our customers. They are our neighbors and friends, and we want to do the very best by them. We understand that trusting someone else with your money can be daunting, but we, like other good financial advisers, work hard to ensure it’s a comfortable process. There’s a great quote from the late Loren Dunton, founder of the Institute for Consumer Financial Education: "Most people need a planner. The ones who don't need one are usually smart enough to use one.”

Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Neither firm is affiliated with North Shore Bank or its related companies. Investments are: • Not FDIC insured • May lose value • Not financial institution guaranteed • Not a deposit • Not insured by any federal government agency.

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