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The Value of Discipline, Perspective, and Calm

Mark J. Smith, CFP®, CPA/PFS, CIMA®
May 9, 2018

I have a few questions for you.  If you currently work with a financial advisor, how do you primarily measure the value you receive from him/her?  If you do not work with an advisor now, what would be the number one benefit you would expect?

1. Sense of financial confidence
2. Knowledge of my personal financial situation
3. Progress toward my goals
4. Investment returns

One more question for those that currently work with an advisor.  Did the primary benefit change from what you thought you needed from an advisor at the onset to what it is today?

Dimensional Fund Advisors just released the results of their global investor survey where one of the goals was to gather insight into the advisory relationship.  The very first question was the exact question above for those that currently work with a financial advisor.  The top answer from over 18,000 respondents spanning 8 countries was: “sense of security/peace of mind.”

In our firm’s 30-year history, we have experienced our long-standing belief that change is constant, and investors need help filtering through the noise of the market and dealing with the emotional aspect of world events. Actually, we need not look any further than the first 4 months of this year.

January started with the stock market reaching new record highs, and commentators debating how much fuel the economy had left.  Merely weeks later, the stock markets experienced not one, but two 10 percent declines.  Throw in a headline or two about tariffs, tax cuts, and the national debt and an investor may find himself easily swept away from his 30,000-foot view without help to keep his footing.

I invite you to watch the below video from Dimensional, which shares a powerful message on how the right financial advisor can provide value.  Do you remember how you felt through these headlines?

Education is a cornerstone of our practice, and critical to enabling clients to take control of their financial lives and to avoid making investment decisions out of fear.  Contact us if you have questions, or are ready to mute hype, temper emotion and pursue success sensibly.

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