I Hate Mondays and I Hate It When My Financial Advisor Tells Me To...

You fill in the blank. I'm sure you've experienced it.

Maybe it was an advisor. Maybe it was your parents. Maybe it was a Billboard (I guess I do still look at those when I'm stuck in traffic). Maybe it was a TV talking head or maybe it was that once a year financial article that they slip into the fitness magazine while they are telling you not to eat onion rings.

 
 

Financial advice is everywhere and in today's world of unending lists of ways to improve ourselves, inevitably you've been told that some aspect of the way you are living your life needs to be adjusted for the sake of your financial situation!

There's the advice that says you have to give up Starbucks every day because it's the little things that matter and add up over time. Then there's the advice that says it's not the little things that matter, it's the big things that matter – like the big house and the new car and lavish vacations.

I once told my advisor I was on the way to the craft beer store to pick up a mixed six pack and he said "no, too expensive".

OK, fine, I'll fill a growler at the local brewery. "Way to buy local" he said, "but still too expensive on a per beer basis". Damn math people.

OK. I'll go to Costco and get a case of Sam Adams. "Close" he says, "get the 48 pack of Kirkland Light instead and you're good to go".

Hmmmm?! So I probably do save a bit of money on the 48 pack and I drink a whole lot less of it since I really don't care for light beer, but I'm totally miserable and my loathe for my advisor increases, and I'm my own financial advisor?!?!?

I stress two points when dealing with clients on budgeting.

1.   You need balance in your life and you should be the one to figure out those least painful places to find money in the budget. I'm not saying it's easy, but most us of can find the extra money if we make the effort.

2.   One of the biggest ways I can help you is to bring discipline to financial decisions that may be emotional. Whether they be budgeting decisions or investment decisions - many bad financial decisions get made when emotion creeps in.

Most advisors and advice columns are well-intentioned and trying to help, but it's HOW we communicate and motivate that matters a lot. And that's where many advisors fail. It's too preachy, unrealistic and not customized for your situation.

Our approach at J. Bradford Investment Management is very open and collaborative and I usually do more listening than communicating. I will try to help you make informed and disciplined financial decisions and give you my opinion as such, but if you happen to swing by the craft beer store on the way home, I just may join you.

PLEASE REMEMBER:

- Investing and investment management involves risk, including the loss of your initial investment or any investment gains.

- Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

- This generic information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation for any individual to take a specific action.

- Please invest prudently and seek professional help from a financial advisor, investment manager, accountant, lawyer or other professional on matters that you are unsure of or that are unique to your personal circumstances.

- Financial Advisor and Investment Management Services provided by J. Bradford Investment Management, Nashua NH.