After 25 years as a financial advisor, I’ve learned a few things about creating a successful financial plan and mindset. Here are my three top financial lessons.
Lesson 1: Individuality
You are an individual with your own sensibilities, quirks, and goals. You do things your way, and it works for you. So why shouldn’t your financial plan be as unique as you are? Cookie-cutter plans don’t address your needs. That’s why you need a customized plan that fits your objectives, nobody else’s. What works for your neighbor probably won’t work for you. Decide what’s best for you and go from there.
Having a written plan in place is crucial. And something physical and tangible to refer back to can keep you accountable and on track to achieve your goals. You should have short-term and long-term goals with markers to signal your successes. Imagine how satisfied you will feel once you reach your goals. Remember that feeling and use it to fuel your motivations.
Lesson 2: There’s No Crying In Investments
Once you have a plan in place, it’s critical to stay the course and not get wooed by the newest shiny tech stock or panic when the stock your great aunt left you tanks. You have to take emotion out of your financial plan. Easier said than done, but you’ll be better off. Many behavioral biases can get you in trouble if you’re not careful, and relying on emotion over facts is one of them. Beware of other emotional and behavioral triggers such as herd mentality. Following the crowd might have been cool in high school, but it can derail your well-crafted plan in the real world.
Lesson 3: Drown Out The Noise
We are bombarded with so much stimuli every day, from talking heads on TV to the constant dinging of our phones. Whether it’s business news or your uncle (the unofficial stock picker of your family), information overload can be exhausting and make you doubt your actions and decisions. When you have a well-thought-out personalized plan, it’s easier to block out the noise and stay on track.
Staying On Track
Financial plans are living documents not to be locked away and forgotten forever. You should update your plan every time you have a significant life event such as a marriage, divorce, birth, or death. Be sure to update your estate planning documents, such as wills and retirement beneficiary forms, as well as your goals. For example, a new grandchild brings with it more college education costs, so your plan must adjust to keep pace with your life.
You are your own person with your unique, individual needs and circumstances. Make a plan that works for you, not your cohorts—and certainly not your uncle. Ask yourself what’s important to you and what success means for you, not anybody else. Start writing down all of your ambitions, even if you don’t think they could become a reality. Keep striving for your goals, and remember to enjoy the journey.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to go at it alone. We at Infiniti Wealth Management are here to help. To learn more about creating an individual plan for you and your family, call our office at 845-278-8638 or send us a message to set up a complimentary consultation.
Michael Durante is a founder, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA®) at Infiniti Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only financial advisory firm. With over 25 years of experience, Mike specializes in serving women who are going through a life transition, whether that’s a divorce or the death of a spouse, as well as pre-retiree and retiree couples. He is passionate about helping his clients develop a personalized financial plan based on their values and goals so they enter retirement with confidence and peace of mind. Mike has both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Pace University. When he’s not working, Mike loves spending time outdoors hiking, biking, walking, golfing, campfires, the beach and doing yard work, as well as spending time with family and friends. Mike also enjoys to read, travel, and check out local restaurants and events. To learn more about Mike, connect with him on LinkedIn.
January 22, 2021 - Michael Durante, CFP®, CDFA®