So many of us are unaware of, or choose to ignore the impact that a well-constructed financial plan can have on our wealth.
Rather, we may be distracted by, and subsequently place a larger focus on, just one aspect of wealth management – investment return. While investments play a crucial role in financial planning, without a long term goal and a comprehensive strategy to get there, focusing exclusively on investment management will leave you adrift at sea, without a destination in sight.
After years of dedication to the practice of investment management, I have realized that the foundation to a successful investment portfolio begins with a financial plan. Because without clearly defined, long term goals, you’re really just chasing short term returns which can turn on a dime. To create an investment allocation that is risk appropriate, your wealth management team must start at the beginning. This involves taking a deep dive into your financial history and future goals. Important topics like estate planning, cash flow requirements and legacy goals should be reviewed prior to any investment decisions being made. Only after your goals have been defined, and an integrated financial plan has been developed, can an investment allocation be created to support your plans for the future, in adherence with your desired level of risk. If you forego the development of a customized financial plan, and simply target a desired return, you are essentially picking an arbitrary benchmark, and hoping for the best. An experienced captain would never set sail without first charting a course, and anticipating and planning for their needs during the journey. Because the reality is that a failure to set long term goals and stick to a comprehensive strategy virtually precludes the possibility of attaining a desired outcome, and more likely than not will result in arriving in unknown territory, much worse for wear.
Having a financial plan that encompasses all aspects of your wealth is essential. It not only provides a platform to define and monitor your financial goals, it also sets the stage for an appropriately constructed investment portfolio. By utilizing the two in concert you are charting a financial course to success!
Interested in learning more about financial planning or investment management? Click here to reach out to our wealth planning team with any questions you may have.