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What should I be thinking about

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

4 things you'll want to know in 2022 and 2023

This year has been a wild ride so far with tons of obstacles. It has presented both opportunity as well as a slue of emotions to include fear, panic and anxiety. More and more prospects are being referred to us or seeking us out for help with their money. Many of them have never met us or one of our clients before so this is all new to them. They're not sure what to do when they've lost almost 30% and they're not sure what questions to ask either. This might be a helpful guide for some of the most sought after things for the modern investor.

  • Who - This is something every investor should know about their money "guy", financial advisor, consultant or whatever you want to call him or her. The who is an important thing to know when your money depends on it. You'll want to know who's calling all the shots. Is it your planner or some money manager that has never met you and doesn't know your financial picture. Asset allocation models and algorithms might be just fine for some, but it's important to make the distinction upfront. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache down the road if you're surprised to know that some formula sold your stocks at a huge loss and the person you entrusted with your life savings had no say in what happened.

  • Batteries sold separately - We all know the feeling when your kid gets a toy they just can't wait to open. Then the panic sets it when the box says batteries not included. That's not something you want to be surprised about with your planner either. You'll want to know what services are included and what aren't. They can very quite a bit from advisor to advisor so it's important to ask about all the details. It can save you time and money and prevent you from making a mistake when choosing the person you want to work with.

  • Price check on aisle 8 - Confusion and misunderstanding can ensue when you make an assumption about what things cost. Because the financial world is cloudy and convoluted at times, it's best to ask questions about all sorts of costs. Some accounts make it easier to identify costs than others. Retirement plans are notorious for lack of transparency. An honest advisor that's detailed and specific about costs will set the stage for clarity for both the client and the advisor. There are some main costs you'll want to be sure to check on:

    1. Trading fees - how much for stocks, bonds, funds, ETF's & so on

    2. Planning costs - Hourly, Project Based, Subscription Model

    3. Investment Management - % or AUM, Flat Fee, Commission

    4. Consulting - cost for plan changes, goal updates, and life decisions

    5. Custodial Fees - the cost to hold your investments in safe keeping

    6. Platform Fees - costs you pay depending on your account type

    7. Sub-Advisor - fees you'll pay for firms that employ a subadvisor

  • House of cards - This isn't typically one of the first thing that comes to mind for most, but you'll want to know your advisor has in mind. Their plans for the firms growth over the next ten to twenty years. Do they plan to sell to a junior advisor, take the highest bid from a large conglomerate or build a bench of strong successor candidates who plan to continue the path of the firm you signed up to work with. Let's face it, it may seem odd to ask an advisor their succession plan when you first meet them, but it'll tell a story about what may be down the line. If the solo practitioner or advisor team doesn't have a clear direction, the firm and it's clients can come down like a house of cards. You would believe every advisor out there cares about their clients like they do their family, but that's not always the case.

For more on topics we discuss with our clients, tune in to our latest PennyWise Financial Podcast. You'll hear more details about how we plan, some of the latest news thats relevant to your investments, and get a flavor of who we are. Click the link below to watch the latest vlog.

Everyone wants to offer advice. We hope you have the right person. A trusted person to guide you on your path to achieving your goals. If you're not working with the right team or want a second opinion, we hope you consider our services. Follow our content to learn more about our process, investment philosophy and hear real life accounts of what our clients are dealing with and how we help them.

And that's only the beginning...Reach out and schedule a consultation to discuss your situation. We'll walk you through your options and help you make the right choice for your goals. Click below to listen to the latest PennyWise Financial Podcast and hear more commentary on the stuff you need to know, and much more.

Want to learn more? Follow our latest market commentary, firm updates, or anything financial via our blog, Podcast or Vlog.

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