Note: This article draws on source material originally published by FP Canada. Republished with permission, October 2020.
Let’s face it - our finances have never seemed more complex. That’s why working with a financial advisor - an expert who can talk with you about your personal challenges and goals - is more helpful than ever. You don’t have to make the big decisions on your own - a simple conversation can have a big impact on your confidence moving forward.
Who should talk to a financial advisor?
Short answer? Everyone. There’s no downside.
The long answer is that, for some, finances have become really complicated in the last few years. These are the people who can really benefit from personalized advice based on their unique circumstances.
Boomers. The sandwich generation
With the parents of boomers aging into their nineties, and adult children moving back home or needing financial support, boomers have become known as the ‘sandwich generation.’ With financial responsibilities on both sides, their lives can start to feel more stressful than ever. This is the kind of complicated situation that a financial advisor can help untangle.
The children of boomers - millennials - are also facing their own challenges. “Their lives are far more complex than previous generations,” states Cary List, president and CEO of Financial Planning Canada™. He explains that Millennials are “more likely to be members of the gig economy, with no fixed employer or company pension plan.” This can make for unique, complicated finances - something that a financial advisor can help sort out.
Robots vs. Humans
There’s a ton of information out there about finances, and more products and services than ever. But if you’re already trying to sort through a complex situation, this can be overwhelming. And on top of all that, you have the emergence of “fintech,” digital tools powered by artificial intelligence.
While these tools have their place, Jocelyne Houle-LeSarge, president and CEO of Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) remarks that “these digital tools don’t replace human beings.” In fact, the personal aspect of a relationship with an advisor is key to creating understanding and confidence. When it comes to financial planning these days, Houle-LeSarge states, “more of the routine calculations will be done by a computer program, so the financial planner will have more time to be a true guide to their clients, to accompany them on their journey and to really listen to their concerns.” The human element gives you a sounding board, a guide, a confidante.
Looking at the big picture
When you come across ads, or even some articles, about financial planning, it can seem like it’s all about investments. Not true. Financial wellness and a clear plan require a lot more than an investment account. It’s about aligning all aspects of your financial life - like taxes, insurance, debt, retirement planning, and paying for a child’s education - with your goals, whether those goals are financial or not. An automated tool isn’t going take all of this into account. Plus, a lot these decisions come with big emotions, and financial advisors are essentially experts when it comes to talking about money. They take the time to get to know you, and they have experience talking about sensitive topics in a professional and comfortable manner.
At Meridian, we always start with a personal conversation. That way, we can understand where a person is in his or her financial journey. This allows us to meet people where they are and build a plan to help them get where they want to be. At Meridian, we live by the words: where investing feels good.
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