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The Impacts of Aging and the Critical Importance of Having a Plan

Sunset DockAs financial advisors, we have seen what happens when people have not planned for the challenges that come with someone that has significant medical issues.

Alzheimer’s disease, parkinson’s, dementia, or other chronic illnesses have led them to substantial diminished capacity-- physically, mentally or both. They come to us trying to put together a plan. When we meet with these families, it is a constant reminder of why we recommend to begin a relationship before the planning becomes overwhelming. The financial planning process helps prepare for many unknowns. That way if and when something diverts you from your original plan it is not as difficult to adjust.

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Do you have a financial coach?

financial coach CopyAs investors, we can be our own worst enemy. There are times when clients want us to make changes to their portfolio in reaction to headlines in the news. It is our job to ensure they have the discipline to stick with their personal investment plan.

There are a few basic elements in every good coaching relationship.

Trust

Having a person or team who can act as a guide to your planned destination can be invaluable to your financial future. Establishing the trust necessary to maintain any good coaching relationship is gained through listening, educating, follow through and honest feedback. The process of establishing this trust typically begins with a series of conversations where an advisor will ask you to discuss your long-term objectives, things that matter most to you in life, the concerns you might have about being able to accomplish your goals, and other personal aspects of your life. To obtain the complete picture, it is imperative that the advisor shows empathy and creates an environment where you feel comfortable.

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Discipline Delivers Results

Steps to successNew record highs for stocks coupled with political uncertainty brings a fear to some that the market is headed for a crash. We say, uncertainty always exists, and those who are disciplined survive and thrive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has reached, and continues to reach record highs. For many, this may leave them feeling the dread of “Uh-oh, when’s the shoe going to drop?” This type of mentality leaves us, at Private Wealth, scratching our heads. Historically, the DJIA and all of its counterparts in indices have continued to grow. There have been times of turmoil, times of severe correction, but the market has persevered. Consequently, those who have stuck to their principles have prospered due to their discipline.

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The Risk of Not Taking Risk

Goat tightropeWhen it comes to the long term success of your investments, not taking enough risk might be the biggest risk of all.

As financial advisors, it is our fiduciary duty to ensure that the investment plans we create are aligned with the goals of our clients. Sometimes, this means asking our risk-averse clients to step outside of their comfort zone in order to achieve their goals.

Understanding Risk

Many self-declared risk-averse investors believe that putting their money into stocks is too risky. However, not investing some of your portfolio in stocks is pretty risky too. The rate of return on bonds and other low-risk investments may not financially prepare people for their retirement because the growth of their portfolio may not outpace inflation. Then what happens? Investors trade the actual security of their retirement for the perceived security of investing in lower-risk options.

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Defining Success

Summit ClimberAs we enter a new year, we often reflect on the successes of the prior year (as well as not so successful moments) and we look to improve in the coming year. Resolutions about our habits (good and bad) are often made. No matter what type of changes, if any, you have chosen to make this year, they usually come down to two things, happiness and success.

If we look at society and societal norms, a lot of weight is given to success when it comes to defining happiness. If we see a person who is successful, it is often assumed that they are happy. In reality, we actually have no idea whether or not that person is either happy or successful; for a couple of reasons: First of all, we can only measure someone else’s success or happiness by what we know about them. Secondly, and more importantly, we can only measure someone else’s success or happiness by how we define success and happiness. There is really no way of knowing whether their measures are even similar to our own.

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