• Matt Morizio

Do you have a (financial) plan?


Maybe you have someone who manages your investments, and maybe “make my money grow” is a sufficient goal right now, but maybe it isn't. What if you are selling yourself short? What if you should have very specific goals as they pertain to your finances? For me, both personally and professionally, the more specific my goals, the more likely I am to achieve them, and the more vague they are, the less likely I am to achieve them.

If you have specific goals but no idea how to financially achieve them, what do you do? Well, you can hire a financial planner to help you, or you can read a lot about financial planning and try to do it yourself.

But people put a ton of pressure on themselves to understand areas outside their expertise, yet nobody is successful in a vacuum. There’s no such thing as a self-made millionaire. No doubt they worked hard to get where they are, but I know they didn’t get there alone.

Think about the world’s top athletes and most successful entrepreneurs. They aren’t jacks of all trades. They, rightly so, surround themselves with people who elevate their game in areas they are weak.

Don’t agree? Name one professional athlete that made it without a coach. Name one Fortune 500 company where the founder is still the only employee.

Why then, when it comes to our personal health - physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, etc - do we balk at the idea of needing outside help? We feel like seeking outside help means we are incompetent, yet the most successful people on this planet are successful precisely because they identified their weaknesses and sought outside help.

It takes effort and humility to identify our areas of weakness and then actively find an expert to help us get to the next level, but it’s no doubt essential to our personal success.

If finance isn’t your strong suit, hire a professional to map out your goals by designing a financial plan. It will serve as your continually evolving roadmap to financial success. As your life circumstances change, so does your plan, and so do the specific daily steps you take to achieve those goals.

The plan will answer questions like, “How much should I save in my SEP IRA versus my general investment account? My three kids want to go to Northeastern University in 15, 13, and 11 years - how much should I begin saving per month right now? Would it make more sense to pay off my student loans or keep them? What about my mortgage? Should I be in a 15 year adjustable or a 30 year fixed? What will my retirement look like? Should I buy that vacation home now or wait?” And on and on…

Maybe you are reading this thinking, “I don’t need need a financial plan yet - once I make big money and my life gets more complex I’ll figure that stuff out.”

Let me rephrase that in a context you may better understand: “I don’t need a diet and training program yet - once I get in good shape I’ll figure that stuff out.”

It doesn’t happen the other way around.The training and nutrition plan help you get in great shape just as the financial plan helps you achieve your financial goals.

If you need a financial plan but don't know how to find a trustworthy financial planner, take a look at my article on “How to find a financial advisor,” or let’s set up a phone call. We can work together to figure out who the right advisor is for you.

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Investment advice offered through Beck Bode, LLC, a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor in the Greater Boston area.