Although I’ve been in the financial industry for 20 years, I made a few mistakes before I became a financial advisor. Here’s a quick run-down of three and what I did to right the ship-
- Get Organized and Re-Title Your Assets - My husband and I had established two revocable trusts in each of our names to hold title to our assets. We had accounts everywhere, which presented a great opportunity to consolidate savings and brokerage accounts. The benefit of titling assets in the name of your trusts is to allow for easier distribution to your heirs. Not all assets can be titled or need to be titled in the name of a trust. We had 5 major assets that needed to be re-titled (home, savings account, brokerage accounts)– we created a spreadsheet and began the process of re-titling the assets. We focused on the larger assets first (home and brokerage account). Give yourself plenty of time and remember Rome was not built in a day.
- Dollar Cost Averaging – although I advise my clients to dollar cost average, we weren’t doing this before I became a financial advisor. Dollar cost averaging allows you to invest throughout the year by investing a set amount each month or specified period. This exercise now allows us to buy mutual funds at both highs and lows, and on average receive a favorable market price. Now we invest a set amount each month to our daughter’s 529 Plans and joint brokerage account. An easy disciplined approach to saving and investing.
- Financial Plan – we didn’t have one. In theory we knew we wanted to retire one day, but that was the extent of our plan. We sat down, got a handle on our expenses, monthly net savings, talked about our goals, and put a plan in place. It’s less than 20 pages long , we review it once a year and know where we stand. To Pat’s point earlier, our financial house is in order.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about the above.