Your Mid-Year Financial Check-In: Is Your DIY Financial Plan Really Serving Your Needs?

DIY financial planning without an experienced financial advisor can lead to missed opportunities and mistakes.

Many people take pride in making their own way in the world. Self-reliance is a virtue, and it can take you far, though sometimes it’s necessary to partner with a professional. DIY financial planning might feel practical to you, or even like the thing you “should” do – crafting your own unique strategy in pursuit of your financial aspirations. However, DIY financial planning may not allow you to take full advantage of the tools available to you – meaning you could also be missing out on another level of financial security and peace of mind. So, if you haven’t yet worked alongside a financial advisor to build a comprehensive financial plan, it may be time for a mid-year check-in to see if you’re on track to accomplish your goals for this year and beyond.

Let’s consider a few of the challenges you might face if you’re practicing DIY financial planning, along with important advantages that come from working with an experienced professional you can trust.

You May Be Missing Critical Tools in Your Toolbox

You may be incredibly knowledgeable about personal finance, yet financial professionals have many tools at their disposal, including software and information that’s not readily available to the average consumer. Certainly, there are trading platforms that offer investment management and advice, but many low-cost investment platforms lack the options that could best serve your needs. A financial advisor, on the other hand, can utilize the entirety of the investment universe to build you a portfolio – and actively manage it – oftentimes with more favorable expense ratios and limited transaction costs, too.

The Cost of DIY Financial Planning Can Be Significant

You may believe that DIY financial planning will save you money. While this could be true in some cases, because you do have to pay for professional financial services, chances are you’ll be paying less by hiring a professional than you would be spending on the tools you need to properly plan your finances. Typically, the required software packages for financial planning, analytics, trading, and charting will end up costing you around $1,000 a month If you want to do it right, plus you’ll have to factor in transaction and account fees. Since you’ll likely also be learning as you go, it will be easy to make mistakes or miss opportunities that negatively impact your bottom line.

Time is a Non-Renewable Resource

If you have a DIY mindset, you’ve likely spent countless hours assembling furniture or fixing a leaking kitchen pipe on your own. Is there a sense of satisfaction when you accomplish something like this? Absolutely. However, you probably also recognize that life is busy, your time is precious, and an expert could do the work much more quickly. A professional financial advisor won’t be looking at the directions or working through first-time frustrations. They will know what to look for when it comes to retirement planning tools, portfolio rebalancing, or stock positions, giving them the time needed to take advantage of any opportunities in the markets. If you’re unsure of what to look for, you may waste time learning what to do rather than being able to take action.

Consider, too, that the markets are most active during the standard workday when you’re likely to be at your busiest. In the twenty-first century, markets operate differently due to high-frequency and algorithmic trading, creating “flash crashes” and periods of tremendous volatility. If you’re unavailable during times like this, you could find yourself financially exposed when you don’t want to be.

As The Saying Goes, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

If you have an interest in finance and you’ve been actively managing your own wealth, you’ve probably learned quite a bit. Financial literacy is critically important, and it’s smart to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to personal finance knowledge. However, financial advisors go through years of formal education and on-the-job training to master products and processes.

As the saying goes, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. An experienced financial advisor can offer the extensive knowledge and experience you need to successfully navigate your finances now and into the future. The financial industry has dozens of advanced degrees, certifications, and licensures for a reason – it’s a complicated industry with incredibly high stakes. Having an advisor in your corner who can help you navigate this complex landscape can help you avoid any missteps in DIY financial planning that could put you off course.

Stop DIY Financial Planning and Partner with an Advisor You Can Trust

Financial planning is one of those critical aspects of life in which you can’t afford to make mistakes or learn as you go. Having a financial advisor at your side through all phases of your financial journey can give you the peace of mind that DIY financial planning simply can’t provide, and it typically saves you both time and money, as well.

If you’re ready to partner with an experienced professional to truly optimize your financial plan and take advantage of tools and opportunities to grow and protect your wealth, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a conversation with a member of the Principal Preservation Services team. Let’s make the most of the rest of this calendar year and enhance your financial security now and into the future!

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