This week we interview Phil Weiss and discuss some secrets of accounting for the wealth management industry that should give you pause.
Join us this week with Phil Weiss to discuss some great investing wisdom that you can apply today.
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Money Isn't Everything: Financial Planning for Life!
Money matters. It plays a meaningful role in our lives. It allows us to do and experience many things. But that doesn’t mean money is everything. As a financial advisor, I’ve talked to potential clients about the idea of financial planning and how much money they need to save. For most, that’s not the right question. What if you spent your money with more purpose and used it for what matters most to you? Instead of asking how much money you need, try asking yourself, “What kind of life do I want to live?” This approach can help you better align your spending with what matters most to you. It can also help you live your life with more purpose.
At its core, a financial plan provides a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond budgeting, investing, and saving money. It should also reflect your short- and long-term goals as well as your values and lifestyle choices. Having a financial plan often allows you to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
How Can Financial Planning Help
Financial planning is about more than money. A financial plan helps you create a roadmap for your future that aligns with your values and goals. Having a financial plan can help you make more informed decisions about your finances. It can also make you better prepared for unexpected events. In short, a well-thought-out financial strategy can help make it easier to:
Achieve Your Goals: Whether you want to start a family, buy a house, start a business, save for your child’s education, or go on a vacation every year, financial planning can help you achieve your goals.
Debt Management: If you’re not careful, debt can materially hamper your financial picture. Financial planning can help you manage it effectively.
Asset Protection: You never know what might happen. Financial and estate planning can help you protect your assets and the financial security of you and your family.
Retirement Plan: Retirement results in significant change. Financial planning can help you plan for it and allow you to save and invest enough funds to support your lifestyle.
It’s Not All About the Money
Yes, money matters. There are some things you can’t do without it. That’s why we should invest and save for the future, so we don’t have to work our entire adult lives. When it comes to investing, you can find countless stories talking about beating the stock market. Very few can do it with any degree of success. This has led many investors to adopt a more passive investment approach. In other words, they invest in funds that mimic an index.
Beating the market refers to the idea of achieving higher returns on your investments than the overall market. Investors who attempt to beat the market will do so by picking individual stocks, timing the market, or following the advice of financial experts. It is rare to find any investors who can consistently beat the market.
Remember that trying to beat a benchmark normally means making riskier investments. Assuming more risk also means your portfolio will likely fall even more than the market during down years. Big losses can jeopardize your future much more than failing to match a large gain. Think of it this way. If an investment you paid $100 for falls 40% to $60, it will have to increase by 67% to get back to even. That’s a big hurdle.
Consider a Diversified Portfolio
Instead, you can allocate your assets across a diversified portfolio. Your gains may not be as great, but your losses should be smaller. Plus, a diversified portfolio usually has less volatility than one that’s more concentrated. Diversification should help reduce the amount of fear you feel when your portfolio falls. Our emotions can impact our investing. They can cause us to sell out of fear and buy out of greed. I believe these are two of the worst things we can do as investors.
In addition to the risk and emotional aspects, trying to beat the market can also be much more time-consuming. It can take more time to select your investments. You need to spend more time monitoring your investments. More time may be spent making changes to your portfolio, too. All of this can lead to increased stress and anxiety.
Using an asset allocation approach should reduce your stress levels as well as the time spent managing the portfolio. Plus, it should lower risk and volatility.
Living Your Desired Lifestyle
If you live your desired lifestyle, you prioritize your values, goals, and priorities over chasing investment returns. Your financial plan should align with your lifestyle choices and priorities. In other words, your spending reflects what’s most important to you. You experience the benefits that come from enjoying the present while building wealth for the future.
Implementing a Life Planning Approach
When creating a financial plan many advisors and their clients focus on financial goals and investments. This causes them to overlook the broader picture of their overall life goals and aspirations. But a successful financial plan should be about more than accumulating wealth. It should help you align your finances with what matters most to you.
Apprise has implemented a life-planning approach, and I am pursuing the Registered Life Planner designation. While the full life-planning approach is relatively new for Apprise, those who have been through the process so far have provided positive feedback. It helps them to get a clearer picture of both where they stand today and what their future can look like. It also helps them to better understand what matters most to them.
Defining Life Planning
Life planning represents a comprehensive approach to financial planning. It still takes your financial goals into account. But it also does much more. It also reflects your personal values, priorities, and aspirations. It aims to help you develop a clear understanding of what you want to achieve in life.
Life planning helps individuals focus on what’s truly important to them, both now and in the future. Taking a more holistic approach to financial planning allows you to create a financial plan that not only builds wealth. It also supports your broader life goals.
At Apprise, we follow the Kinder Institute’s EVOKE process:
Exploration. During the exploration meeting, the advisor provides you with an opportunity to speak about what matters most to you. The advisor’s role during this meeting is mostly to listen.
Vision. During the vision meeting, the discussion centers on your response to the three Kinder questions. These can be summed up as follows:
Design Your Life.
You Have Less Time.
Today’s the Day.
Obstacles. During the Obstacles meeting, the discussion focuses on what can possibly get in the way.
Knowledge. At this point, your advisor applies his or her knowledge to help you formalize your financial plan.
Execution. Now it’s up to you to achieve the goals laid out in your life plan.
In this blog post, I discuss the life planning process in more detail. I also share my personal life plan.
An Ongoing Process
Life planning is not a one-and-done deal. It is an ongoing process requiring regular review and revision. Your life circumstances and priorities can change. This means your financial plan may need adjustments as well. For example, if you experience a job loss, marriage, divorce, or the death of a spouse, you will likely need to revise your financial plan to accommodate those changes. Any of those events could also be a good reason for you to work on your life plan if you don’t already have one, too.
In fact, at Apprise, we focus on working with women in transition. For women facing significant transitions, we know that it's stressful trying to understand how to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to go. We are committed to taking care of the financial aspects of these transitions so that our clients can focus on the lives they want. Our life planning process helps you determine what it is that you most want from your life. You are welcome to download our free e-book which addresses several issues that female-led households need to know about planning for their financial future.
In conclusion, life planning helps you to determine what matters most to you. It accomplishes this by taking a holistic approach that helps you identify your priorities and align your spending with your overall life goals and aspirations. Understanding your values, priorities, and life goals allows you to create a financial plan that supports the lifestyle you want to live. Remember, life planning is an ongoing process that requires regular review and revision to ensure that your financial plan continues to align with your changing life circumstances. With a life planning approach, you no longer need to think about building the biggest portfolio. Instead, you create a financial plan that does more than build your wealth. It also supports your broader life goals. If you would like to discuss your life plan with us, you can schedule a free, no-obligation call using this link.
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Today's Guest: Phil Weiss
Phil Weiss founded Apprise Wealth Management. He started his financial services career in 1987 working as a tax professional for Deloitte & Touche. For the past 25 years, he has worked extensively in the areas of personal finance and investment management. Phil is both a CFA charter holder and a CPA. In addition, he has served as a featured media spokesperson and has written weekly commentary on market-related topics. He continues to blog regularly for Apprise. His investment approach favors the long term, as well as assessing the value and fundamentals of the assets in which he invests. He launched his own Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) business so he could provide financial planning, personal finance, and investment management services and education to female-led households looking for assistance. He believes it is a privilege to help others plan for their financial future. Please read this blog if you would like to learn more about what drove Phil to start Apprise and why he works with so many female-led households. Phil grew up in Livingston, New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University with a BS degree in Accounting. He also attended Duke University for three years where he was a Psychology major. He and his wife, Diana, live in Maryland and are the proud parents of four children – six if you count their two dogs. Phil enjoys spending time with his family at home, on the fields, and when traveling. He likes following his favorite sports teams, cooking, and reading, too. Phil also coached many of the youth sports teams his children played for.
Phil's Online Presence: