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5 Financial Assumptions to Let Go

For those of you reading this who already work with our team, thanks! We always appreciate your business and your referrals. If you’re reading this and you don’t work with us yet, I want to address some of the common misconceptions that keep people from picking up the phone and scheduling their complimentary first meeting with us. 

“I’d rather confess my sins to my priest than my financial planner – my priest will be more forgiving!”There – I said it! I truly believe this is what many people think when their friends or family tell them that they should talk to someone in our office. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! While we won’t judge, when it comes to your personal finances, there’s no amount of foundation, blush, lipstick, or Spanx that you can wear to gussie yourself up that will make your financial planning team think your financial house is in order if it’s not. But that’s why we’re here. People make this assumption all the time, and I’m here to tell you to throw that idea out the window. 

Another big one I hear is from those on the opposite end of the above spectrum: “I have everything figured out and don’t need a financial planner. They’ll just tell me to go home!” Folks, in 25 years in this business, I have said that to five people at the most. One of those five eventually became a client anyway, as only one spouse was truly engaged in the family’s finances. When that person passed away, the surviving spouse called us for help. So, even if you think you have everything in order, you don’t know what you don’t know. If I walked into your office and started telling you everything I know about your job, well, you get the idea. 

Third: “I’ll need to meet with my planner frequently in order for my portfolio to get the attention it deserves.” Now, if you work with a one-person team, I would say you’re correct on this. It’s hard for a successful practitioner with one officer manager to keep track of 100 clients, much less several hundred. There, the squeaky wheel will get the grease. By contrast, if you’re working with a large team like ours, you’re not just a number, you’re a name and face, and we’ll know your story. You’ll have someone assigned to you who is not just your primary financial planner. That person’s job is to make sure you’re properly attended to, and will keep you informed about everything going on with your money. 

On a related issue, one thing our clients have taught our team over the last couple of years is that we don’t always have to meet face-to-face anymore. Technology has changed and evolved, making FaceTime and Zoom viable options that allow us to see and hear the emotions involved in making certain financial decisions while providing flexibility to those who need or want it. To those of you have helped us learn this, we appreciate you! Remote meetings have become a significant part of our operations.

Assumption #4: “I don’t need a financial planner – I can find all the financial planning advice I need from a Google search.” Full disclosure: Your financial planner also uses Google! Where we find it useful is when looking for contribution income limits, tax brackets, rules, stock history for that company you inherited from your great uncle, and other hard and fast numbers. We also use it to fall down rabbit holes on WebMD where we become convinced we’re dying and get all kinds of unnecessary tests. When using Google, just remember to consider the source. If you get your advice from insurance companies, you know what you’ll get. Your bank? They’ll sell you their CDs. At Family Financial Partners, we hold ourselves completely independent in the solutions we present to you. Not only does Google not know everything about your unique situation, with us, you can be sure our advice is impartial.

Last but not least: “I can’t afford a financial planner. It’s too expensive!” Without going into a dollars and cents answer, I believe that, in many areas of life, you get what you pay for. We truly believe that our services are worth the cost. We do our absolute best to exceed everyone’s expectations, but we truly are here to help people, and we stand by our services. 

We hope you found this beneficial not only about assumptions, but about what it’s like to actually work with our team. If you haven’t been in to see us yet, please, pick up the phone and give us a call. We’d love to see how we can help you organize your financial life. 

Article by David Smyth, Senior Partner at Family Financial Partners — a financial services firm in Lexington, Kentucky.

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