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June 2019

First Meeting With a Financial Planner

Organize Your Records

Your first step is making a list of all your assets, debts, and otherwise getting a comprehensive breakdown of your current financial standing. Most advisers will want to see tax returns, pay stubs, pension statements, investment and fund statements, and even your informal monthly budgets. If you can, try to have the past three years worth of records on hand before going to the meeting.

Decide What You Need

With your financial history in mind, you need to determine whether what you most need is financial planning, investment management, or both. Financial planning involves someone helping you create and execute a financial plan for your future, including IRAs and other tax strategies, as well as long-term investments to prepare you for retirement.

Investment Management on the other hand, takes a more aggressive approach to building wealth. If you are not interested in managing your own investments to aggressively build wealth, some people have had success using an investment manager to create a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and funds to grow your money so you have a bigger nest egg when you do retire.

Understand How Advisers are Paid

An important consideration when searching for a private banker is to fully understand how they are compensated, and in particular be on the lookout for any potential conflicts of interest they may have when managing your money. Some are paid by an hourly fee, or a flat price for services or a subscription.

Others receive a percentage of the assets they manage, or a percentage of the interest gained on the client’s account during a term. Still others receive commissions from companies selling financial products and mutual funds that may not be in their clients best interests. Know that you are getting a fair deal.

At The Meeting

When you go into the meeting do so with an open-minded and patient attitude. Be realistic in your expectations and do not expect answers to your problems to appear instantaneously. Also, listen to your instincts and initial feelings about the person you are dealing with. Do they seem straightforward and trustworthy? Or, in the worst cases, do they bully you into investments that you are not comfortable with? Be aware of anyone who promises the world.

Economize Your Life

  1. Do you leave a lot of lights on in rooms that are not occupied? You can use high efficiency bulbs in rooms that get a lot of long-term use so the bill won’t be so high. Look around at your local hardware store and ask questions for the best results
  2. Do you shop at stores that are very high-priced? We have Kroger in our area that have great specials, give you gas points to help you save on fuel, and the staff is very helpful. Maybe you have one of these in your area, but if not search for a store that has a gas station too, and gives you points like this. Every hundred points equals ten cents off your next fuel purchase. You can only use this once a month, but in the course of a prior month you can save 40 cents or more on one fill-up, depending on how many groceries you buy. Try to time your fill-up so that you can get the price that is lowest when you do it, then you save extra with the points also. When you see specials at a store that is high in price otherwise, stick to just the specials and then leave instead of buying higher-priced items you still need.
  3. Do you look for outdated merchandise in an area of the stores you shop at? I have saved on cat and dog food, all kinds of food items we need anyway, and also on taxable items that we use a lot. I make a point to do this area of the store as soon as I get there. Sometimes there are carts with merchandise located around the store that you save on also. Try to stick with items that you actually need, not others or your bill will go very high. It is easy to be impulsive when you find good deals but stick with what you and your family really need and it will conserve your money for what is really essential.
  4. Group your errands to a certain area each day so you are not going across town or whatever unnecessarily. Like if you have to take the kids somewhere, go to a store near where you are taking them and get what you actually need.
  5. Subscribe to just the Sunday paper if you can. Our subscription is about six dollars a month, so it saves us at least two dollars a month. The coupons inside will more than pay you back for the subscription price. Be diligent about how you do the coupons. Go through them often to weed out expired ones. Perhaps go online or to a coupon seminar that teaches you how to use coupons more effectively. You still have to watch that what you buy with the coupons is not higher than the store brand product, so take a calculator with you if you can.

About Money Changes Hands

There several different ways how money can be and can become an object. One scenario is if you needed funds back had a lack thereof, then that creates financial challenges. The second scenario is, if you have the funds available and you have access to it; to do want you want to do without hesitation of wondering where the funds would come from. Another scenario is if you have hired someone for certain services and have not compensated them according to the agreed amount for their labors, but you have withheld their wages, then this is fraud. James gives and ample warning to the rich who use these negative business transactions. James 5:1-6. We are to become wise stewards of all God has entrusted to us.

There is nothing wrong with having more than enough in material wealth. However, if the use of your financial status are not benefiting the need others, then as someone who has more than enough, you have missed the mark, because it is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35. Back in the early 70’s the American pop group the O’Jays had a smash hit record titled “For the Love of Money.” “It will keep on changing up your mind,” were some of the lyrics to this particular song. Don’t let money change or fool you; it do what it does, come and go.

Money itself is not the problem; it is a great tool to have access to, we cannot do without it. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” I Timothy 6:10. Who do you love the most; God or the money He has allowed you to have access to? “Lay up your treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.