Are You a DIY Investor?

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Five ways a financial advisor can help make you a better investor

While there are many options when it comes to managing your investments online, plenty of the work – research, investment management, decision making –still falls under your responsibility. So exactly what kind of benefits can a financial advisor provide versus what you sign up for when you do it yourself?

1. Getting to know you

A financial advisor will work to understand what's important to you – both your short-term and long-term goals, what your saving and spending behaviors are like, and the kind of lifestyle you have or are working toward. They will then build a personalized strategy designed to help you achieve those goals. You would obviously be aware of your goals, but can you look at the big picture? Can you analyze your own financial picture and track your own progress over time? By partnering with a financial advisor, you can benefit from having someone who has a deep understanding of your financial goals and can help keep you on track toward achieving them.

2. Objective advice 

Many do-it-yourself investors fall into a common investing trap: emotional investing. Too often, emotions can be the biggest risk to your investment success. Chasing performance and moving into and out of the markets can lead to poor diversification. A financial advisor offers objective, personalized advice that is needed when the markets get volatile. A financial advisor's main goal is to help keep you focused on your long-term financial objectives and will create a personalized investment strategy to help get you there.

3. Deep understanding of investment research

A financial advisor understands market patterns, the nature of diversification and other factors necessary in helping you make investment choices for your situation. You can look up many types of financial data on your own, but do you know how to put it all together into a cohesive picture? As a DIY-er, you can spend time doing financial research and still may not have considered everything that can impact your decision making. You can trust a financial advisor, with their years of experience and training, to research and make sense out of research, with your financial goals in mind.

4. Complex investment needs

Your financial investment story is uniquely yours. As you plan for or settle into retirement, the need to involve your accountant and your attorney in your financial strategy is likely, whether you own your own business, are expecting an inheritance or a large influx of money, or have specific estate considerations. A financial advisor has the depth of knowledge and experience to help you navigate most situations, as well as working with your tax advisor and attorney to develop solutions to meet your individual needs.

5. Strategy review and new opportunities

Think of a financial advisor as your navigator on this financial journey. By working together to regularly review your investment strategy and taking advantage of opportunities along the way, you can have a clearer picture of where you stand and what you need to do to help reach your goals.

With home repairs, if a "do-it-yourself" mistake is made, you can always call in a contractor. But when it comes to managing your one financial future, there are significant benefits to having a professional that knows what's important to you by your side.

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