In an article about the resolve needed to get your finances in order, Washington Post finance columnist Michelle Singletary expressed surprise that in a national survey, “84 percent of the people surveyed said they would not include financial planning in their resolutions for 2013.” She was dismayed because these same survey respondents also said they wanted to get better at money management. Singletary is in favor of people setting New Year’s resolutions for improving their finances, however she suggests that people figure out ways to keep these resolutions ahead of time and that requires planning.
Perhaps the survey respondents were not interested in financial planning because they were not sure that it was going to be of value to them. They wanted to manage money better but did not see how financial planning factors into that.
According to kitces.com, Morningstar Investment Management pointed out that “A longstanding challenge of financial planning has been the fact that its value is usually defined in intangible terms (e.g., “bringing peace of mind”) or at least over time horizons too long to effectively evaluate (e.g., “helping people achieve their long-term goals”).
Morningstar found that if you want to talk in quantitative terms you would need numerical data to demonstrate how people are better off when they choose to work with a financial planner. The authors of a Morningstar paper on the topic found “…good financial planning decisions increase retirement income by 29%, which is the equivalent of generating 1.82%/year of higher returns.”
Fee-Only financial planners like Claire Emory adhere to strict codes of ethics and never benefit from recommending a particular product or service. Clients pay a yearly fee for Claire’s advice and guidance (based on income, net worth, and financial situation), and she does everything in her power to provide valuable financial guidance and honor that trust.