Stocks became a hobby of mine when I was in my teens. Probably every month, my dad would show me his monthly account statements and I would try to glean any information I could from them. Then I would go online and see what other information was out there.
Then, the 2008 financial crisis happened. I was in college at Ole Miss at the time. I heard someone on CNBC say you could throw a dart at stocks and surely hit several that are undervalued and long-term winners. So, I opened an account at an online brokerage, threw a few darts and bought some stocks. And it worked.
That was mainly luck. I took the DIY approach and researched certain stocks as diligently as I knew how via the internet. Still though, I didn’t know too much more about these stocks other than their main products/services, price trend, P/E ratios, and a few other factors I didn’t fully understand.
I now realize that I missed much more to the equation, which goes way beyond stock selection and metrics. With the right advice, I would have known that I should have invested first through a Roth IRA to avoid taxes (since I had earned income at the time), and then through a taxable account. I also would’ve known to register the taxable account as transferable on death. I was not advised on any of this by the online brokerage, and it was something any decent financial advisor would have advised me to do. Did the DIY approach hurt me? Not necessarily. Could my situation have improved with a professional? Of course. I should also mention that my account was so small it’s unlikely any investment advisor or wealth manager would take me on as a client, or that I could’ve afforded it. But I still see what I missed.
I am now a financial advisor, so, obviously, I am biased towards having one. But I do see the pitfalls of doing it yourself. First, most investors tend to focus too much on picking individual stocks and not enough on asset allocation and investment structuring. Most DIY-ers do not have an investment strategy. If you were to research asset allocation and investment structuring online, only general advice is available. To apply that to your specific situation requires a deeper analysis. And as with most DIY activities, yes, you might get the job done, but it likely would not be as good a job as if it were left to a professional.
WebMD is okay as an informational resource, but you can’t write yourself a prescription. You need a doctor.
Representing yourself in court is most likely less effective than hiring an attorney. The same goes for creating or signing a contract.
Try remodeling your bathroom on your own. Sure, it might look decent, but looking back was it worth the sweat and time? Maybe. Maybe not.
The point is that so many people out there see investing as a more do-able DIY activity because you can go online, link a bank account, and buy any stock you want with the click of a button. It doesn’t take a trip to the doctor or a trip to Home Depot.
But that leaves out what many investment advisors, including myself, focus on: investment strategy, asset protection, diversification, tax-efficiency, tax-loss harvesting, retirement planning, debt management, risk management, life insurance, downside protection planning, and much more.
Do I Need A Financial Advisor?
Advisors are here to take the emotion out of the decision-making, to filter out the noise, and to provide comprehensive financial advice. We take the time to research investments and structuring to ensure they make sense and are appropriate for you, depending on your comfort level. We leverage our experience and industry relationships to identify the best strategies specific to your situation. We can play a very important part in protecting and growing your wealth, and putting it to work for you, your future, and your legacy.
Doing it yourself, you’re leaving your life more to chance than if you had a professional working with you. I chose to listen to the bullish CNBC pundit who said to buy. I could have just as easily listened to the pundit who said to sell. Unless, of course, I had someone, like an investment advisor, providing me with objective guidance on what to do. Before you decide to make you and your family’s future a DIY project, talk to a professional financial advisor.
Said differently, you don’t prescribe your own medications, you don't represent yourself in court, and you don't build your own house. Treat your financial life with that same level of importance and hire a professional.
If you’re still asking the question, do I need a financial advisor? Give us a call and we can help you answer that or check us out at One Bridge Wealth Management. Also interested in life insurance? Learn about reliable life insurance in St Louis MO and nationwide.
Schedule your complimentary appointment with us here.