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Oct 20, 2020
Every Monday, we start our team meeting with an “icebreaker” question. It allows us to take a moment in a busy week to laugh, learn, and get to know each other better. These questions range from the serious to the light-hearted (hint: everyone has had a terrible hairstyle at some point!).
At our most recent meeting, we posed the following question:
If you could give only one piece of financial advice, what advice or tip would you give and why?
Our team of financial advisors enjoyed sharing our thoughts and thought that we could combine our knowledge to give our team’s best advice – based on our combined 180 years of experience. We hope you enjoy it!
“Ignore the noise.”
Do not be persuaded by what others say should be important or how they think you should achieve what you’ve determined for you and your loved ones to be important. Question the “conventional wisdom” advocated in the media and/or by your proverbial brother-in-law or best friend. The advice might sound good, but it might not be consistent with what you care about or as effective as your own plan. Tune out the noise!
Aaron Szager, CFP®, Advisor Group Manager:
My dad instilled in me the importance of commitment. When you have a plan, you want to stay firmly rooted to your decisions. While life changes and we adapt, that sense of purpose and strength will help you weather the storms.
Claire Shifren, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor:
“Invest in yourself.”
Don’t forget to invest in yourself — your education, your job skills. In your career trajectory, always be thinking about how you can push ahead. It makes you a valuable person to any organization while developing yourself personally and professionally.
Cynthia Duncan, Senior Financial Advisor:
“Never underestimate the power of compounding.”
Never underestimate the power of a small amount of money compounded over time. When I was starting out in my career, my father very much hammered into me the importance of investing early and often — that is how you create wealth.
David Langhals, CFP®, Financial Planning Associate:
“Inaction is its own action.”
Inaction is its own action — and it can be the best action, even though it feels uncomfortable. Do you need to make that decision now? Will giving yourself time lead to greater clarity? You make better decisions when you consider all the options available to you.
Charles Angle, CFP®, Financial Planning Associate:
“Don’t forget the basics.”
My family is in the financial field, and I assumed I knew what to do when I started my career. In reality, I never learned some of the basics – like taking advantage of my 401(k) matching. I started saving about five or six years late, and I missed those years of growth by not being aware of my options.
Lana Xiao, CFP®, Financial Advisor:
“Focus on cash flow, not net worth.”
It doesn’t matter how much money you have — if you spend more than your income, you will deplete that net worth. It is never an easy discussion to have. Concentrate on the cash flow and try to spend below your means.
Adam Govani, CFP®, Financial Advisor:
“Don’t be your own worst enemy.”
While markets move and circumstances change, the one thing you can control is your reaction to the situation. People often respond to stress by making impulsive decisions, to their own detriment. Understanding yourself helps steel you against the forces beyond your control.
Diana Le, Financial Planning Associate:
“Take charge, always.”
The best piece of advice comes from my grandma: take charge of your finances. She had to learn later in life, and she impressed upon me the importance of making sure both partners are involved in financial planning. The power is vested in you to be an active and equal member of your family finances.
Kevin Szeto, CFP®, Financial Planning Associate Manager:
“Stay the course.”
Investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Financial security is about building long-term stability. Life events may derail your path, but the one thing you can control is your determination and resolve.
Mandy Pham, CFP®, CFA, EA, Senior Financial Advisor:
Don’t rely on willpower. So many aspects of our life require difficult decisions, so try to take as many away as possible. Simply automating your savings can be a powerful way to overcome financial inertia.
Sherry Williams, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor:
“Don’t confuse credit with savings.”
Credit cards can create a dangerous cycle. People often fall into the trap of accumulating a balance and the interest eats away at their savings. Make sure to have emergency savings so that you don’t have to rely on credit cards for your cash flow.
John Wei, CFP®, CPWA, Senior Financial Advisor:
“Build the right foundation.”
Long-term wealth lies on a solid foundation – ensuring your assets are structured to accomplish your goals. As you build wealth, the best way to protect that legacy is to make sure the appropriate financial and legal structures are in place.
Eric Jungling, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor:
“There’s no time like the present.”
The hardest part is often getting started. We find a million ways to defer and delay. However, taking control of your financial future does not have a wait time – you can do something, today.
Maybe you read this for financial guidance, or perhaps it just looked interesting. Either way, why not speak with our Private Client Group today? We would love to hear what’s on your mind.
This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article constitutes investment advice or any recommendation that any particular strategy is suitable for any specific person.
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