Last week I attended the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit that celebrates the booming Tech sector along the Wasatch Front. As I spoke with vendors and attendees, a consistent theme came up: “When do I need an advisor?”
Here are my thoughts on this and other similar questions I was asked.
Do I really need an advisor? You may not always need an advisor, but you always need a plan. If you don’t have a roadmap, how do you know if you have reached your destination? Many people have vague ideas in their heads of what success looks like. Maybe it’s retiring at the age of 50 and sitting on a beach drinking lemonade. Maybe it’s starting up your own company. Maybe it’s giving back to the community.
It is important to sit down and write out your ideas of success. Then take one more step by defining the path that will take you there. Without creating the stepping stones, your ideas will only remain wishful dreams.
Do you need an advisor to create that plan? No, as long as you are willing to do the research. Nowadays there is so much information available on the internet that you can become an expert in any area…as long as you are willing to do the research. As our CEO Roger Smedley puts it, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Even more dangerous may be the things you think you know with certainty.
So, if you want to create your own plan, but fear you are missing something, consult with a professional that can identify potential pitfalls and help turn your stepping stones into concrete, actionable ideas.
Don’t advisors cost a lot? At SFS, our initial consultation is free. I love to see young college graduates come in who are ready to conquer the world. I give them some time to help create a plan. I know that if I help guide them in the right direction, they will be more financially secure, and who knows, they may even become one of my top clients in the future.
If a person becomes a client, then there are fees that vary depending on the services provided. Comparing our fees and our in-depth planning, we are a far better value than our competition. I have had people question our cost, but I have never had them question our value.
What you don’t want to do is to get your advice at the water cooler. While good advice may not be cheap, bad advice will always cost you dearly no matter how little you pay for it.
Is it best to talk to an advisor before or after my company goes public? Anytime you are dealing with a potential windfall, you should talk to an advisor. As human beings we constantly overestimate how much something is worth. When I was young, I thought $100,000 for retirement was a lot of money. Now, I know it could disappear in a heartbeat.
So, if you get a windfall, reward yourself by using some of the money to take a trip or do something fun. Just don’t blow it all in one place. The world is full of once-rich people that are now broke.
Make sure your money helps you accomplish your goals according to your plan. And if you don’t get the windfall you were expecting, still talk to an advisor. We can help you reach your goals.