Intentional Voice

Navigate Your Financial Future with Confidence: The Transformative Power of a Trusted Financial Advisor (April 2024)

Financial Freedom

Your world is filled with financial decisions. You might find yourself facing an overwhelming number of options with no clear “right” choice. For example, you might be asking yourself:

  • How can I get out of debt?
  • How much house can I actually afford?
  • What are effective ways to save for my child’s education?
  • How much money should I be setting aside in savings each month?
  • Is there some way I could save more on my taxes?
  • Should I buy or lease my car?
  • How can I increase my giving?
  • Is it better to invest in stocks or real estate or something else entirely?

And so forth. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, so the options and decisions available to you will be different than your family member, neighbor, your boss, or your friend at church. For any financial decision, there is rarely an obvious black-and-white solution that’s always correct in every circumstance. Navigating these waters requires insight into your goals and values as well as the intricacies of the ever-changing financial world.

That’s where a financial planner comes in. A good advisor can help you grow your wealth by managing investments, helping you with your taxes, offering budget suggestions, and answering other financial questions. But the best advisor can also look at your unique circumstances and provide guidance and perspective that takes the emotional context of your money management into account as well.

Does hiring a financial advisor make good finance sense?

One concern you may have is whether hiring a financial advisor makes good financial sense. How does a financial advisor get paid? What incentive do they have to help you grow your wealth? Are they worth the cost?

Different financial advisor firms approach payment in different ways. They might:

  • Earn a commission on sales of investments and insurance products.
  • Charge a fee, either as a flat rate or a percentage of the assets under management (AUM).
  • A combination of fees and commission.

When choosing a financial advisor, you’ll need to consider their fee against the value of the services they offer. Studies suggest that, for the most part, the benefits of a financial advisor’s services exceed the cost of their fees:

  • One Morningstar report[1] suggests a 1.5% performance improvement on behavioral coaching alone.
  • Another report, authored by Paul Kaplan, Ph.D., CFA and David Blanchett, CFA, CFPÆ, suggests that wise planning decisions can lead to a 29% increase in income for retirees.[2]
  • Vanguard Advisor’s AlphaÆ advertises a 3% per year improvement to returns[3] while Russell Investments ABCT claims a 5.12% improvement[4]

Of course, these figures are estimates and averages, and any individual scenario could have a better or worse return. What’s more important than the specific figure is the general trend: a good advisor generates more value than the price of their service.

Arguably, the most valuable benefits of working with a financial investor cannot be so easily measured and quantified. The greatest benefit may be the trusted advice, perspective, and wise counsel an advisor offers during often turbulent times.

Financial Decisions Are Frequently Also Emotional Ones

Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” This is as true of an individual’s financial plan as for a community’s leadership.

Many important financial decisions are preceded by an emotionally charged event. Sometimes those are positive emotions, like a marriage or birth. Other times they can be heavier feelings, like a death in the family, divorce, or the anxiety accompanying market swings and volatility.

Extremes, both good and bad, lead to emotional fluctuations, and wise decisions are rarely made when emotions are running high. Having someone with technical expertise and experience who is also able to bring some distance and objective perspective to your circumstances is invaluable. Building a long-term relationship with that advisor, knowing they share in your values and understand your goals, offers peace of mind against uncertainty.

Do Not Separate Your Faith From Your Finances

Believers face an additional responsibility with money as we manage resources in a way that honors God, who owns it all. What if you could work with an advisor who understands the worldly rules and strategies around money AND knows what God’s word says about taxes, debt, saving, spending, and giving? That is where Kingdom Advisors comes in! Kingdom Advisors is a national association training financial professionals (Financial Advisors, Estate Attorneys, and Accountants) in the application of Biblical principles in the money decisions we all face. Advisors can participate in the Certified Kingdom Advisor® (CKA®) training to learn God’s principles around finances and how to work with families. In order to earn the CKA® designation, advisors complete intensive coursework and an exam. They must also present a reference from a pastor, references from two clients, and submit an attestation of faith.

So is a financial advisor worth it? That’s a question every person will have to decide for themselves. But if you’re looking for a financial partner who aligns with your values and wants to build a long-term relationship, you might consider looking for a Certified Kingdom Advisor® near you.

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John Moore Associates, an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is not affiliated with Family Life Radio. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of John Moore Associates or Family Life Radio.